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Classroom, Lab and Field Activities

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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.

Plagioclase Phase Diagram part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This short exercise involves the binary plagioclase "two-phase loop" phase diagram.

A Last Look at Igneous Minerals in Thin Section part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
A final lab exercise that uses the optical mineralogy skills learned in the previous labs, and begins the transition to petrographic analysis of thin sections.

Sedimentary and Related Minerals part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise is an introduction to sedimentary minerals and rocks.

Fun With Asbestos part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise is a practical application of optical mineralogy involving identification of some asbestiform minerals.

X-ray Analysis of Sand part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is an x-ray diffraction analysis of six sand samples and comparison with hand specimens.

Metamorphic Rocks and Minerals part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise is an introduction to the most important metamorphic rocks and minerals.

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.

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.