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Teaching Mineralogy
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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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Phase Equilibria part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a short exercise that introduces basic thermodynamics.

Ore Minerals part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
Introduction to sulfides and other ore minerals.

Mineral Commodities part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise introduces students to mineral commodities.

Properties of Minerals part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
Students examine a number of key mineral properties and how they are displayed by different minerals.

Properties of Minerals and Intro to Polarizing Microscopes part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise continues the study of the physical properties of minerals and introduces petrographic microscopes.

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.

Mafic Mineral Properties and Thin Sections part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
Students look at mafic igneous minerals, learning to distinguish and identify them in hand specimen. They also look at a few of the minerals in thin section.

Wave Interference part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
Glenn Richard, SUNY at Stony Brook
This activity engages students in the exploration of interference between sinusoidal wave forms. They use an interactive applet to manipulate the phase, wavelength, amplitude, and phase velocity of two waveforms ...

What does the core/mantle boundary look like? part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
Suzanne Baldwin, Syracuse University
This activity explores how earth scientists infer what materials are present at the core mantle boundary and what this boundary might look like. It provides students with the opportunity to contribute to the ...

Mineral Properties Sheets part of Activities
Dave Hirsch, Western Washington University
This activity consists of a set of 69 mineral sheets to be used as part of a term-length set of labs. Each sheet has spaces to write physical and optical properties for each mineral, and a crystal form diagram ...

The Silicate Structures: Chalkboard Demonstration part of Cutting Edge: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 ...

Bragg's Law part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
Glenn Richard, SUNY at Stony Brook
"ON A COLD WINTER DAY IN DECEMBER, 1955, Robert Wentorf Jr. walked down to the local food co-op in Niskayuna, New York, and bought a jar of his favorite crunchy peanut butter. This was no ordinary shopping ...

Modeling Exsolution (and Perthite Formation) as an Example of Complex-System Behavior part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman; Barb Dutrow, Louisiana State University
Students use a physical model, computer simulation, examples from the natural world, visualizations, and overarching thought experiments to explore this phenomenon. Exsolution embodies attributes of a complex ...

Mineral Physics Activity Sets part of Activities
Michael Brown
These activities are derived from a 500-level mineral physics course at the University of Washington. They include topics such as Earth models, lattices, x-rays, thermodynamics, elasticity, and lattice vibrations. ...

Indicatrix Movies part of Activities
Dave Hirsch, Western Washington University
These movies show the indicatrix, a mineral, the principal indices of refraction, and the interference color predicted, all changing as the cut through the mineral varies. It is meant to be a lecture aid, or can be ...