Pritzker expected to make dolostone Illinois' official state rock — all thanks to some 5th graders

Students at a Burr Ridge middle school are getting noticed as serious "rock" stars.

They were pushing to get Illinois an official state rock, and learned about making laws in the process.

"They took one question and realized they can make a difference. And their one little small idea is a memory that they'll have forever," said 5th grade teacher Jennifer Lauermann.

On Tuesday, students from Lauermann's class at Pleasantdale Middle School got a visit from Congressman Sean Casten.


This all started last year when they were 5th graders. The students were studying rocks and discovered Illinois didn't have a state rock. So they got to work to change that.

Eventually, 1,300 people voted. It got Rep. Casten’s attention — who has a science background — so he talked rocks on the house floor in Washington, DC.

The effort got attention from state lawmakers, and eventually, a bill passed the state House and Senate to create the state rock.

The winner with 60-percent of the vote was dolostone.

"It represents the history of Illinois. It's the most of the bedrock of our state. And because of that, I think that instead of just being a rock you see all over the place — it's underneath us, it represents history and eons of time," Lauermann said.

"It's just really cool to be able to sort of, you know, show these students that their efforts to get a law passed, that they actually did it!" Rep. Casten said.

The students have been told Governor JB Pritzker is expected to sign the bill declaring the state rock into law.