where kids rock

Welcome to Mini Me Geology’s Discovery Zone

Welcome to Mini Me Geology’s Discovery Zone. This is our new home for free resources and information related to geology, rocks, and minerals. My name is Tracy Diane Jones. I am a Professional Geologist and I hope you love geology, too. Mini Me Geology was born from my love of rocks and my desire to find great STEM kits for my kids. I designed all of Mini Me Geology’s kits, books, and activities with kids and new rockhounders in mind. So, whether you are 6 or 106, we have something for you.

A Little Something About Tracy

Tracy Diane Jones from Mini Me Geology's Discovery Zone

I was originally born and raised in Princeton, West Virginia where I graduated from Princeton Senior High School. A swimmer through most of my childhood, I left to attend college at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, and join the varsity swim team. (Go Paladins!) Four years later, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology and headed to Columbia to attend the University of South Carolina as a graduate student. (Go Gamecocks!) At USC, I studied hydrogeology, focusing on groundwater modeling. Between my first and second years, Mobil Oil Corporation offered me the opportunity to work in New Orleans, Louisiana for the summer. I jumped at the chance to live in New Orleans for three months! I graduated from USC with a Master of Science in Geology.

Why I Created Mini Me Geology

Soon after my kids were born, I realized I had a passion for helping kids find a love of science through rock and mineral collecting. When my son was in kindergarten, the teacher asked the parents to speak to the class during career week. I took a bunch of rock samples and the kids went crazy! Later I went to the store and tried to find some rock kits for my son and there wasn’t anything on the market that I liked and thought would teach him about geology and foster his interest in science. That is when the idea for Mini Me Geology was born.

My goal with the business is to develop products that will help children learn to love science, even if they do not become a scientist in the future. I want kids to enjoy science because it affects every aspect of their lives. Mini Me Geology’s Discovery Zone is a space for free resources and information about geology that complement the kits, rocks, and minerals on our site.

A New Chapter Begins…Literally.

While I was at Furman, I took some fascinating English classes. One that I loved in particular was Poetry, Plays, and Short Stories. The professor introduced me to the works of John Malkovich. While he isn’t a writer, I love his acting and storytelling Because of this class, I got interested in writing. To date, I’ve written several geology activity books that are both stand-alone and come with our kits and a book for home school parents and teachers who need to teach rock and mineral identification but have no geology background. My non-fiction is published under my name Tracy D. Jones or as part of Mini Me Geology’s product selection.

Crystal Cave Adventures – a “science” fiction series for kids

Blue John's Cavern novel from the Crystal Cave Adventure kids series

My kids books are a “science” fiction series for kids ages 8-12. The Crystal Cave Adventure series is a little bit of geology, a little bit of time travel, and a ton of adventure. Each novel has a companion activity book where readers can learn more behind-the-scenes tidbits about the characters, places, and minerals in each book. My fiction is published under the name Tracy Diane.

The Crystal Cave Adventures includes four novels and four companion activity books. Each story stands alone but there are themes running through the series which bring you to an exciting conclusion at the end of book #4. The books are:

#1 – Blue John’s Cavern (travel to 1775 England in search of the rare Blue John Fluorite)
#2 – Rusher’s Gold (travel to the1850 California Gold Rush in search of pure gold)
#3 – Black’s Opal (travel to 1925 Australia in search of a perfect Black Opal)
#4 – Egeran’s Mountain (travel to 2050 Mount Vesuvius volcano in Italy in search of a rare vesuvianite!)

Penelope Lake – a cozy mystery series coming in 2024

My next series is a cozy mystery series featuring, Penelope Lake, a kick-butt geologist who solves crimes! The first book, The Diamond Murder, is dropping in Summer 2024.

Why We Created the Mini Me Geology’s Discovery Zone

My goal at Mini Me Geology has always been to help kids and rockhounders enjoy geology with great rock and mineral samples, kits, and books. I created Mini Me Geology’s Discovery Zone as a central hub for free resources and information for anyone interested in geology.

The Rock Detectives Club

The Rock Detectives Club from Mini Me Geology

The Rock Detectives Club is the first online space designed to help kids and rockhounders fall in love with science through videos, activities, and experiments. This subscription site has:

Monthly Videos explaining how to identify different rocks & minerals,
Monthly Videos answering your questions about geology, rocks, and minerals,
Rock & Mineral Identification Flow Charts,
Create a Geologist’s Field Notebook,
Make Your Own Rock & Mineral Collection Box,
Coloring pages, and
and Endless FUN!

BONUS! Blue John’s Cavern Novel and the Companion Activity Book

This summer, we are adding a full “How to Identify Rocks and Minerals” course that will be available to all members of the club.

Visit the Rock Detectives Club information page for all of the details.