Rocks and Minerals

How do people use rock in their everyday lives?



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Rocks in Everyday Life

How many things do you do each day that involve rocks and minerals?

Rocks are used all around us in many different ways. In the classroom, students use rocks everyday. Graphite, a metamorphic rock, is the part of the pencil used for writing. Slate, another metamorphic rock, was used to make blackboards in years past. Now most blackboards are constructed of man-made materials. Chalk is a soft form of limestone which is a sedimentary rock.

Granite, shale, and limestone, are used on the outside of homes and other buildings. The Mormon Salt Lake Temple is made from granite, which was hauled from the mountains by ox carts. In central and southern Utah, the Anasazi Indians built their homes in sandstone cliffs. Granite and sandstone are used in fireplaces, walkways, as parts of fences, and for landscape purposes. Shale has been used as a material in patios and walkways.

Rocks are used by artists. Even ancient people left drawings on rocks called petroglyphs. Other artists construct statues out of marble. Marble is also used in many other decorative ways in homes and other buildings. Other rocks are used to create jewelry.

A very common rock found in Utah is coal. Coal is often used to heat homes and to generate electricity. In the past, trains were powered by coal.

Roads and sidewalks are often built with rock. Cement is a common building material made from rock. Rocks and cement often line ditches to prevent erosion of watershed.