New Company Aims to Boost Elementary Student's Interest in Science, Prepare for Future Careers

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Recent studies show American students scoring lower on science and math exams, and that teachers spend anywhere from two to no hours a week on science education, due to the national emphasis on No Child Left Behind. To fill the void, Mini Me Geology (http://www.MiniMeGeology.com) has created a unique blend of fun and learning for children by launching a one-stop geology education shop. Mini Me Geology is a website where children, parents and educators can come to learn not only about great rocks and minerals but also receive free information about the science of geology. The site offers rock and mineral samples from around the world and kits not available anywhere else, project ideas and curriculum for the class or home, "Ask a Geologist", an interactive site with games and puzzles to encourage learning, Rockland Gazette newsletter, and more.

Our site is specifically designed for kids because there are so many neat things about rocks and minerals that young kids can understand without gimmicks and without being bored

Recent studies not only show American students scoring lower on science and math exams, but that teachers spend anywhere from two to no hours a week on science education, due to the national emphasis on No Child Left Behind. To fill the void, Mini Me Geology (http://www.MiniMeGeology.com) has created a unique blend of fun and learning for children by launching a one-stop geology education shop for parents, children and educators.

It all started when Tracy Barnhart and her husband were asked to discuss their careers at their son's kindergarten class. Her husband works in radio broadcasting and she, at the time, used her expertise in geology at an environmental consulting firm. She quickly considered that the young children would probably not understand what she did at her firm, so she gathered up a variety of rocks, minerals and some gemstones to teach them about rocks and what a geologist is. The children were thrilled and she allowed them to take the rock samples home.

"After the experience, I began to think about the children's reactions and the fact that there isn't much taught about geology in early elementary school - the age when children are typically really interested in rocks and minerals," said Barnhart Founder/Owner of Mini Me Geology. "In first grade my son completed only a brief study on rocks but it included very little information. After that he really didn't have any study on the subject at all and science is part of our everyday lives." It gave Barnhart an idea.

In 2006, Barnhart cut back her hours at the environmental firm and started Mini Me Geology (http://www.minimegeology.com). She realized that her mission as a professional geologist was to show kids and adults the wonders of Earth.

Mini Me Geology is a site where children, parents and educators can come to learn not only about great rocks and minerals but also receive free information about the science of geology. The site offers rock and mineral samples from around the world and kits not available anywhere else, project ideas and curriculum for the class or home, "Ask a Geologist", an interactive site with games and puzzles to encourage learning, Rockland Gazette newsletter, and more.

"Most of our requests come from children looking for rocks and minerals that can't readily be found in their area. It's nice to know that we are contributing to their education by making these available to people across the country."

Since starting the business, Barnhart has received considerably positive feedback from parents, including those that home school, and educators about Mini Me Geology emphasizing that she offers more than just a box of rocks, but a real opportunity for children to interact, experience and learn.

"Our site is specifically designed for kids because there are so many neat things about rocks and minerals that young kids can understand without gimmicks and without being bored," says Barnhart. "But we also provide specific information and affordable products for educators to create excitement in the classroom."

About Mini Me Geology
Mini Me Geology is a division of Giverny, Inc. The company's owner, Tracy Barnhart, has been a geologist for more than 16 years. The company, inspired by her two children and their friends, provides a unique blend of high-quality products with free educational information, uniquely combining rocks, minerals from around the world and other geology related toys with free educational information, free puzzles and free access to the site's personal geologist. Mini Me Geology is the new destination for kids and parents looking for quality science toys, education and fun, easy-to-understand information.

Mini Me Geology offers "My Rockin' Collections", rock kit storage bags, minerals, igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks and sedimentary rocks, and individual rock and mineral samples, are also available through the Web site, and it recently added a new line for the classroom called "School Edition". For more information, visit http://www.MiniMeGeology.com.

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