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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Point Groups part of Activities
Joseph Smyth, 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.

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.

Using SHAPE to Make Crystal Drawings part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
In this exercise, students use SHAPE, a computer graphics program, to make crystal drawings.

Point Groups part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise involves identifying symmetry in crystals and using that information to assign crystals to crystal systems and point groups.

Symmetry Summary part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This summary exercise involves crystal system and point group identification and stereo diagram construction.

Introduction to Crystal Structures: Bond Strength (Pauling's Rule #2) part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
A look at Pauling's "electrostatic valency" principle.

Field Notes part of Activities
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
Field Notes provides instructors with helpful tips for a successful field trip. The tips include a well-developed literature review for designing and assessing field trips. Barriers to learning in the field can be ...

Directed-Discovery of Crystal Structures Using Ball and Stick Models part of Activities
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
In this series of exercises, a kind of reductionist approach is used to direct the students attention to specific characteristics of a variety of ball and stick models. Through a series of leading questions, ...

Computer Generated Crystals Using Shape part of Activities
Kenneth J. Brock
The software package known as SHAPE (Shape Software 521 Hidden Valley Road, Kingsport, TN 37663) provides an excellent method for accurately drawing crystals. The following three boxes describe the basic steps ...

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 ...

First Look at Crystal Shapes part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a short and simple exercise requiring students to examine and compare different crystal shapes.