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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Experiments on Simple Binary Mineral Systems part of Activities
John Winter, Whitman College
This exercise is devised to simulate a series of experimental runs in which binary mineral mixtures are melted using very high-temperature furnaces in order to determine the characteristics of mineral systems and ...

Minerals and Light part of Activities
Edward F. Stoddard
Optical Mineralogy and thin sections just blew me away when I first was exposed to them. (Of course that was the psychedelic 60's!) Because of my experience, I've always thought that we might attract a ...

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 ...

Phase Diagrams in Vivo part of Activities
Erich U. Peterson
This activity uses three experiments (videos of experiments may be viewed online) for students to construct a phase diagram. The purpose of this laboratory as designed is to gain familiarity with simple phase ...

Crystal Measurement and Axial Ratio Laboratory part of Activities
George R. McCormick
This exercise is designed to help students understand relationships among external morphology of crystals (their shape and faces), internal structure (unit cell shape, edge measurements, and volume), ...

Asbestos: Mineralogy, Health Hazards, and Public Policy part of Activities
Helen Lang, West Virginia University
In this laboratory exercise students will have an opportunity to examine the crystal structures, optical properties and health hazards of the common asbestos minerals. The laboratory will reinforce optical ...

Wondering, Wandering, and Winnowing: the WWW and Mineralogy part of Activities
Philip Brown, UW-Madison
The purpose of this laboratory exercise is to introduce the student to Earth Science resources on the World Wide Web (WWW) and in particular provide access to material which can be useful throughout a typical ...

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.

Exercises With Mineral Names, Literature and History part of Activities
Francis Dudas
This activity is a series of exercises I assign outside of class time, with the purpose of getting students to explore the literature resources that are available for mineralogy. The inspiration for the exercises ...

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. ...

Plotting Compositions in 2-D and 3-D Space part of Cutting Edge:Courses: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:Courses: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.

Symmetry part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is an introduction to the basic symmetry elements.