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Classroom, Lab and Field Activities

This collection of teaching materials has been contributed by geoscience faculty. Do you have a favorite lab, demonstration or activity? If so, please consider sharing it with the larger community.


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A Term-Long Mineralogy Lab Practical Exam part of Activities
Kurt Hollocher
This term-long project involves identifying a set of 65 mineral hand samples by their distinguishing characteristics.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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A Term-Long Mineralogy Lab Practical Exam part of Activities
Kurt Hollocher
This term-long project involves identifying a set of 65 mineral hand samples by their distinguishing characteristics.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Making Solid Solutions with Alkali Halides (and Breaking Them) part of Activities
John Brady, Smith College
In this exercise, the class will grow a variety of crystals of the same mineral, but with different chemical compositions. These crystals will be made from mixtures of halite eNaCI)and sylvite (KCI) that are melted ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Short Readings from the American Mineralogist: Sneaky Tools for Teaching Scientific Reading Comprehension and Mineralogical Concepts part of Activities
Kurt Hollocher
This activity uses short, well-written articles to enhance teaching for a mineralogy course. Articles are taken from the American Mineralogist journal.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Extending Mineralogy by Electron Microprobe Analysis part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
John Goodge, University of Minnesota-Duluth
This lab is designed to be a highly interactive lab session for a petrology course, where instructors provide a minimal level of essential background and then the entire group works together to explore mineral ...

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Private Mineral Project - Part 1 part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
Students begin to work on semester-long private mineral projects.

Mineral Separation and Provenance Lab Exercise part of Activities
Mary Roden-Tice, SUNY College at Plattsburgh
Students will examine mineral separates from sand samples collected from a number of rivers each of which drains a slightly different geologic terrane. Differences in mineralogic composition and mineral abundance ...

Determination of Chemical Composition, State of Order, Molar Volume, and Density of a Monoclinic Alkali Feldspar Using X-Ray Diffraction part of Activities
Guy L. Hovis
This activity involves using XRD to determine the chemical composition, state of order, molar volume, and density of a monoclinic alkali feldspar.

Phase Fun With Feldspars: Simple Experiments to Change Chemical Composition, State of Order, and Crystal System part of Activities
Guy L. Hovis
Students will use X-ray diffraction to determine the composition of an "unknown" feldspar and then perform experiments to change the phase and composition of the feldspar.

Introduction to the SEM/EDS or "Every Compositon Tells a Story" part of Activities
John T Cheney and Peter D. Crowley
This lab is designed as an introduction to the investigation of minerals with the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and the X-ray analyzer (Energy Dispersive Spectrometer - EDS). We will explore the relationships ...

Mineral composition using XRF (EDS or microprobe) part of Activities
Wendy Panero, Ohio State University-Main Campus
At the end of this exercise you will be able to calculate chemical formula of a mineral based on weight percent oxides, and evaluate the extent of solid solution between end member compositions.

Research Project for Mineralogy part of Activities
Wendy Panero, Ohio State University-Main Campus
The assignment allows for open ended exploration of a topic of interest in geosciences in which one or more mineral's chemistry and/or crystal structure is significant to understanding that geoscience problem. ...

Physical Properties of Minerals and Determinative Techniques part of Activities
Ken Bladh
This activity uses cooperative learning to identify minerals in hand sample based on physical properties. The "Jigsaw" pedagogy upon which this lab is based provides the environment for four succeeding ...

Reagents, Compositions, Weight Loss part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a short experimental study of several different reagents and what happens to them when they are heated to 110° and 1200° C.

From 2D to 3D: Escher Drawings - Crystallography, Crystal Chemistry, and Crystal "Defects" part of Activities
Peter Buseck
This set of exercises illustrates plane and space groups as well as crystal chemistry and "defects" in crystals. The problems are designed to present the material as puzzles that are visually attractive ...

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