News Release 273

Rock and mineral sets to help make learning fun

Volume 39-273 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

ROLLA, MO., AUG. 3, 2011 – Rock and mineral sets are flying off the sales counter at the Missouri Geology Store, located in Rolla. These popular sets have been made available by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources since November 2009.

Each set contains 20 of Missouri’s more common rocks and minerals and is accompanied by a 16-page full-color booklet that describes each rock and mineral and their uses. The booklet is also available for downloading

The sets are often purchased and given as gifts. Most recently, the Steelville School District was the recipient of eight Missouri Rock and Mineral Sets. This rock-solid donation was made possible by Butch Tucker, owner of Hutcheson Ford Sales in St. James.

Tucker worked with the school system to determine which classes would benefit by having these special sets of rocks and minerals.

"I believe when young people become more interested in pursuing the sciences, we all benefit. My hope is that in some small way, that these rock samples spark an interest in young people to pursue careers in the geology and other science fields." said Tucker, whose dealership has been in his family since 1954.

Stephanie Billingsley, sixth grade science teacher at Steelville Middle School recently accepted the rock sets containing many of Missouri’s most common rocks and minerals from Mike Tucker, Vice President of Hutcheson Ford.

Billingsley said, "We truly appreciate Hutcheson Ford for their generous donation of Missouri rock and mineral sets to our students. They provide our students the opportunity for an up-close and personal experience in analyzing these rocks and minerals. We appreciate Hutcheson Ford and the State Geological Survey for helping make learning more fun and meaningful." This is the second time Tucker has partnered with the division to make rock sets available to schools. Last year, Tucker donated eight sets to the St. James School System.

The department's Missouri Geology Store [] provides shoppers around-the-clock access to many of the Division of Geology and Land Survey's most popular products, including publications about Missouri geology and water resources.

The store also offers educational guides to Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites and gift certificates. Whether you are looking for a gift for a rock enthusiast friend, an environmentally-friendly family member, or yourself, you will find something at the Missouri Geology Store.

Additionally, the division’s Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology, also located in Rolla at 111 Fairgrounds Road, hosts fossils, rocks, minerals and other items on display. The museum is open to the public for self-guided tours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Admission is free. Additional information may be found online


Editor: Photos are available at
Caption: Jerry Prewett, Geological Survey Program director, Geology and Land Survey Division, MoDNR alongside Mike Tucker, Vice President, Hutcheson Ford, as he presents one of eight Missouri Rock and Mineral sets donated by the dealership to Stephanie Billingsley, Steelville Middle School sixth grade science teacher. Prewett’s agency makes the sets available for purchase online and at the sales counter in Rolla.