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Teaching Mineralogy
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Classroom, Lab and Field Activities

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Calculating Compositional Variation and Common Substitutions for Igneous and Metamorphic Minerals part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
This problem set uses Excel spreadsheets to calculate mineral formulae from analytical data (typically from the electron microprobe) using a variety of formulations that assume numerous variations of crystal ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Determining Mantle Temperature and Composition from Discontinuities part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
Anna Courtier, James Madison University
This pair of activities uses observations of mantle discontinuity structure to examine mantle heterogeneity and differences in the depth extent of melt sources for ridges and "hotspots." The first ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Mineral Classification part of Activities
, University of Colorado at Boulder
This homework assignment challenges students to determine the chemical classification of minerals based on their chemical formula. Students must also provide the valences of the various cations for oxygen-bearing ...

Point Groups part of Activities
, University of Colorado at Boulder
This mineralogy problem set tasks students with determining the point group Hermann-Mauguin symbol and crystal system for crystal stereograms.

Plotting Compositions in 2-D and 3-D Space part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a fairly short exercise that can be used for an in-class cooperative learning project or as homework. It includes LOTS of explanation and so is sort of a tutorial. I use it in my petrology class because it ...

Mole %, Weight %, Compositions and Projections part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is an introductory exercise intended to get students thinking about mole vs weight % and about the power and problems of projections.

Phase Equilibria part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a short exercise that introduces basic thermodynamics.

Ore Minerals part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
Introduction to sulfides and other ore minerals.

Mineral Commodities part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise introduces students to mineral commodities.

Modeling Exsolution (and Perthite Formation) as an Example of Complex-System Behavior part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman; Barb Dutrow, Louisiana State University
Students use a physical model, computer simulation, examples from the natural world, visualizations, and overarching thought experiments to explore this phenomenon. Exsolution embodies attributes of a complex ...

X-Rays part of Activities
, University of Colorado at Boulder
This homework assignment tests students' understanding of x-rays and x-ray diffraction using wavelength data and physics equations.

Phase Diagrams part of Activities
, University of Colorado at Boulder
Students are given a simplified temperature-composition phase diagram for the system enstatite (Mg2Si2O6) - diopside (CaMgSi2O6), and asked to interpret it by answering a series of questions.

Using Excel to Calculate Mineral Chemical Analyses part of Activities
, University of Colorado at Boulder
This problem set guides students through making a spreadsheet to calculate mineral chemical analyses from weight percent to atoms per given number of oxygen atoms. This skill will be useful for the major ...

Space Group Symmetry part of Activities
, University of Colorado at Boulder
This assignment tasks students with determining symmetry axes and identifying Hermann-Mauguin symbols for space groups based on a symmetry diagram.

Mineral Stoichiometry part of Activities
, University of Colorado at Boulder
Students are given mineral chemical analyses, from which students must determine cation formulae and mole ratios.

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