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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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From Grains to Basin: An Example of a Project-Based Sedimentology Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Sedimentary Geology:Activities
Fraka Harmsen, California State University-Fresno
To help make the connection between thin-section and outcrop, students undertake a field oriented project in Ridge Basin, California.

Petrology/Geochemistry/Mineralogy/Structure of Shear zones in St. Lawrence County part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Activities
Robert Badger, SUNY Potsdam
Field and petrographic examination of shear zones in northern New York -

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 ...

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.

Stereo Diagrams part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise is an introduction to stereo diagrams.

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.

X-ray Analysis of Unknown Minerals part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
In this exercise, students use X-ray analysis to identify unknown minerals.

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.

Mineral Structure 2 part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
Introduction to some basic crystal structures.

Private Mineral Gallery Walk part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
Public display of "private mineral" posters created by students and a group learning session based on the posters.

Mineral Properties Sheets part of Activities
Dave Hirsch, Western Washington University
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 proerties for each mineral, and a crystal form diagram scannned from Nesse and/or ...

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 ...

Crystal Structures as Geobarometers part of Activities
Kent Ratajeski, University of Kentucky
In this exercise, designed for undergraduate igneous petrology or advanced mineralogy courses, students download a series of crystal structures from the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database to explore ...