Our regular meeting contest is the "What's It" where minerals and rocks are set out for the members to identify. They can use an ID book so bring it along to each meeting. The contest is for the child members - so parents, have a seat, socialize, or check you Blackberry - no hovering or helping! (once in a while we will surprise parents with a What'sIt just for them - kids no hovering or helping!).
The contest is at the start of the meeting for 15 minutes. It is divided into Junior and Senior group members with about 8-10 specimens per group. The children fill out a form as best they can to identify the minerals. They hand their forms in and our wonderful YTMC student volunteers will mark, rank and randomize the ties.
At the end of the meeting, the students will go through the minerals, naming and pointing out features, then announce the winners. The member with the most correct gets first choice of the What'sIt minerals to keep, the second most gets the next pick, and so on, until the specimens are gone.
We will try to maintain a photo gallery here of the most recent What'sIts to help members identify specimens by site, but remember to use other senses too.