Cutting Edge > Courses > Mineralogy > Teaching Activities

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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Subject: Mineralogy

showing only Geoscience > Geology > Mineralogy > Physical Properties Show all Subject: Mineralogy

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

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Short Readings from the American Mineralogist: Sneaky Tools for Teaching Scientific Reading Comprehension and Mineralogical Concepts part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy: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.

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A Term-Long Mineralogy Lab Practical Exam part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy: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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Mineral Classification Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise gets students thinking about mineral classification and the properties that are most useful for classifying and identifying minerals.

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Introduction to the properties of clay minerals part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
stephen Guggenheim
These laboratory experiments are designed to show the cation exchange capabilities of clays and how these exchanges affect physical properties.

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Examination of Igneous Silicates part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
Students study hand samples of light-colored igneous minerals and related mineral species. They look at some of the same minerals, and others, in thin section.

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Mineral Classification - What's in a Name? part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus; Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
Students derive their own scheme for identifying and naming minerals. Examples include different minerals that have the same crystal forms, and mineral species that occur with numerous forms and varieties to ...

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Mineral composition using XRF (EDS or microprobe) part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy: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 Cutting Edge:Mineralogy: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. ...

Growing Crystals on a Microscope Stage part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus;
Many compounds crystallize rapidly from evaporating solutions, and many can be crystallized from melts. Because of this, it is possible to do simple crystallization experiments and to watch crystals grow over short ...

Mineral Separation and Provenance Lab Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy: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 ...

Physical Properties of Minerals and Determinative Techniques part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy: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 ...

Crystal Growth - Fast and Slow part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
Peter J. Heaney
This lab is divided into two exercises that may be completed within a single three-hour session. The first exercise requires the mixture of aqueous solutions that will precipitate large euhedral crystals over the ...

Color in Minerals part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
Darby Dyar
Why do minerals have color? When is that color diagnostic, and when is it likely to fool you? Why is color important, and what can it tell us about the chemistry of minerals? This exercise will try to answer some ...

Identifying Minerals with Chemical and Crystallographic Data part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
Kent Ratajeski, University of Kentucky
In this exercise, crystal structure data for a variety of unknown minerals are downloaded and entered into XtalDraw or CrystalMaker visualization software program. Step-by-step tutorials are provided with ...

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