1,3Nina Valand, 1,3Rok Brajković, 2,3Petra Žvab Rožič

 

1Geological Survey of Slovenia, Dimičeva ulica 14, 1000 Ljubljana

2Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering (University of Ljubljana), Aškerčeva 12, 1000 Ljubljana ([email protected])

3Slovenian Geological Society, Dimičeva ulica 14, 1000 Ljubljana

Surely you too have picked up a rock on a beach or in a river at some point in your life and brought it home with you. This rock may have had an interesting color, shape, or a particular pattern on it. But why do rocks have so many variations? Did you know that each and every single rock can tell you an interesting story about how it got there, where and how it was formed, and what it is called? All you have to do is start exploring. We have developed the RockCheck application to help you do just that. So, find out stories behind the rocks and start exploring today 😉.

The RockCheck app (original version KamenCheck in Slovenian language) is a digital educational tool that allows you to strengthen the awareness and increase the knowledge about rocks and geology in general. The content is based on the standard classifications of rocks and adapted to the needs of pupils, students, teachers, and the general public. The educational tool RockCheck is more interesting for use than textbooks and can be used innovatively with active learning techniques. Above all, it combines the possibility of interactive learning both in the classroom and in nature. Since the application uses the approach of experimental observational-based learning and is equipped with graphics learning aids, no pre-existing knowledge is needed, and users can determine names of typical rocks only by following the app’s instructions. RockCheck application is freely available on Google play store.

The application RockCheck consists of three main chapters: Rock key, Encyclopedia and School of Rock. The contents of the chapters are interrelated and are cautiously connected with the links. You can also access all the chapters in the main menu.

Examples of screens from the application RockCheck.

The main chapter presents the Rock key where through a simple dichotomous decision key, by answering the question with yes or no, you identify the name of the individual rock. When answering the questions, you can help yourself with links that are coloured in orange and provide additional explanations of the characteristics of rocks and geological concepts in the chapter School of Rock. In this chapter short explanations and videos of different procedures to examine rocks are also presented to enables independent learning and experimenting. The answers in the rock key will bring you to the name of your rock and into chapter Encyclopedia where you can learn more about investigated rock in general, about its appearance, formation and usage.

Example of using the application (Slovenian version KamenCheck).

If you are interested in where the knowledge about geoscience begins and why an understanding of rocks is so important for life, try the app and rock the world with us.

You can follow the news about the app on the Facebook and Instagram profile KamenCheck or write to us by e-mail: [email protected] The KamenCheck and the RockCheck apps are available for free on the Google play store and are adapted for use on Android devices (soon also planned for iOS).

Slovenian version of the application (KamenCheck) was made within the student project StoneKey (call “On the creative path to knowledge 2017-2020”). The project was co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union from the European Social Fund. Further development and translation into English (RockCheck) had taken place within the Geological Survey of Slovenia through a project [email protected] 3.0 which is financed by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, and within the Department of Geology, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, University of Ljubljana.

This article has been published in the February 2021 edition of the ENGIE Magazine.