The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals offers extensive opportunities for education and learning more about geology and mineralogy.

Educational Programs

Educational workshops and research at the Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum.The Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum offers educational programs on geology and mineralogy for all age levels in the museum and through the Portable Earth Science Programs. The following is a list of just some of the educational programs we offer. If you would like to know more about our educational programs or how we can customize a program or event to your special needs, please contact us for more information.

Many schools are having trouble funding their natural and earth sciences programs. If you or your company would like to underwrite a Portable Earth Science Program or other educational program in your community or at the museum, please visit our sponsorship page to contribute to this worthy cause.

Portable Earth Science Programs

Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum - Portable Earth Science Programs - artwork.The Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum offers a wide variety of portable earth science programs to schools, home schools, and groups.

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals staff work with the educators and schools to make each program meet the needs of the curriculum as much as possible. The museum provides the educator and support staff, activity materials, and equipment for each educational program. The host provides space, tables, electricity (if necessary), publicity and promotion, reservations and event management, and study materials such as student notebooks or textbooks.

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals offers the following Portable Earth Science Programs:

  • Family Earth Science Night: Designed for large groups of 100-300 participants, this 90-minute educational program explores the use of earth materials, volcanism, faulting, local geology, mineral localities, state gem, rock, and fossils, and a basic introduction to rock and mineral identification. This program is especially good for science fairs and back-to-school nights.
  • In-School Museum Simulation: We bring the museum into the classroom in this educational program. We tailor presentations to any age group. Topics include rock and mineral identification, interesting properties of minerals, the rock cycle, use of natural resources, fossils, evolution, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanism, and more.

For more information and details on each program, see our Portable Earth Science Programs page.

Classes and Workshops

Exploring the rock pile in the rock garden of the Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum.The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals offers or hosts a number of onsite classes on a variety of topics including rock and mineral identification, fossil identification, geohazards (landslides, volcanism, and earthquakes), and meteorite identification.

In addition, the Columbia-Willamette Faceters’ Guild offers classes in faceting using facilities and equipment at the Rice Museum. Several sessions of three to five week classes are offered from September to June.  However, please note that classes for through June 2015 are filled.  The schedule of faceting classes beginning in September 2015 will be announced this summer.  If you would like to know more, please contact the Guild directly.


The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals can connect you with many excellent resources for geoscience research.

Our blog features a Science category featuring articles, news, research, and information on earth sciences. The Research page features information about our ongoing research, resources, workshops, and educational programs.

Viewing the Map of Rock and Mineral locations in the Pacific Northwest at the Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals - circa 1970s.The Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum is involved with ongoing educational research and development programs as well as grant programs in cooperation with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and other museums and research programs.

The Rice Northwest Museum works with a variety of organizations and companies to provide better service and information to our museum visitors, members and students. In addition to the many local rock clubs and associations, here is a list of the organizations and companies that help us achieve our goals.