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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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Subject: Mineralogy

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Directed Discovery of Crystal Structures part of Activities
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman; Kent Ratajeski, University of Kentucky
This online exercise uses a "discovery-based" approach and the latest online crystallographic information and visualization software to teach the spatial relationships and crystal-chemical rules that ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Introduction to the properties of clay minerals part of Activities
stephen Guggenheim
These laboratory experiments are designed to show the cation exchange capabilities of clays and how these exchanges affect physical properties.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Identifying Minerals with Chemical and Crystallographic Data part of 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 ...

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.

The Silicate Structures: Chalkboard Demonstration part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
Liane Stevens, Bentley University
This assignment is designed to introduce the silicate structures, and their significance to mineral properties, to undergraduate non-science majors in an introductory physical geology course. Magnetic ...

Olivine Crystal Structure part of Activities
Kent Ratajeski, University of Kentucky
In this exercise, students use the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database and a crystallographic visualization program such as Xtaldraw or CrystalMaker to study the temperature-dependent ordering of Mg ...

Exploring phyllosilicate structures with polyhedral models part of Activities
James Rougvie, Beloit College
In this exercise, students build polyhedral models to learn about phyllosilicate structures and how they relate to physical properties. This directed-discovery activity is a very 'hands-on' experience ...

Concept Maps in Mineralogy part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
Mickey Gunter, University of Idaho
Concept map showing the relationship between different minerals and approaches used in mineralogy. Categories include: crystal chemistry, external and internal structure, phase diagrams, physical properties, and ...

Directed Discovery of Crystal Structures part of Integrating Research and Education:Crystallography:Directed Discovery of Crystal Structures
David Mogk and Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Jan. 25, 2005 Description This contribution is modified from a published exercise "Directed ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
Learn more about this review process.

Identifying Minerals with Chemical and Crystallographic Data part of Integrating Research and Education:Crystallography:Identifying Minerals Using Chemical and Crystallographic Data
Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Jan. 25, 2005 Description In this exercise, crystal structure data for a variety of unknown minerals are downloaded and ...

Gestures for Silicate Structures part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
Carol Ormand, Carleton College
Students use gestures to show the structures of single and double chain silicate minerals, paying attention to where silica tetrahedra share oxygen ions and the relative positions of the tetrahedra.

Comparing Quartz Polymorphs part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
Carol Ormand, Carleton College
Students compare the structures of low-temperature and high-temperature polymorphs of quartz, relating their differences to symmetry and crystal systems.

Understanding Mineral Cleavage via Gestures part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
Carol Ormand, Carleton College
Students use gesture to convey information about mineral cleavage and the relationship between crystal structures and cleavage planes.

Deciphering Mineral Structure Diagrams part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
Carol Ormand, Carleton College
Students compare mineral structures shown in ball-and-stick, space filling, and polyhedral diagrams.

Copper Extraction Demonstration Tutorial part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Summary This demonstration uses sulfuric acid and crushed copper ore (malachite) to produce a solution of copper sulfate and carbonic acid in a beaker. When a freshly sanded nail is dropped into the copper sulfate ...

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