Cutting Edge > Courses > Mineralogy > Teaching Activities > Using Excel to Calculate Mineral Chemical Analyses

Using Excel to Calculate Mineral Chemical Analyses

Joseph Smyth
,
University of Colorado at Boulder
Author Profile

Summary

This problem set guides students through making a spreadsheet to calculate mineral chemical analyses from weight percent to atoms per given number of oxygen atoms. This skill will be useful for the major rock-forming mineral groups.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications

Context

Audience

This problem set is designed for an undergraduate course in mineralogy for majors.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have a basic understanding of Excel and introductory chemistry.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand-alone exercise used as a homework assignment.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

This problem set is designed to help students learn how to calculate mineral chemical analyses using Excel.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

This problem set involves computer skills, namely using Excel

Description of the activity/assignment

In this assignment, students are provided instructions to make an Excel spreadsheet to calculate mineral chemical analyses from weight percent to atoms per given number of oxygen atoms. This skill will be useful for the major rock-forming mineral groups.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students have successfully met the goals of the assignment if they are able to create a complete spreadsheet with the correct values and formulas.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Download teaching materials and tips

Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

This problem set is the 8th of 10 homework assignments used in a Mineralogy course.
You can also access the course syllabus which includes lecture Powerpoints, practice exams, and links to the other problem sets used in this course.

See more Teaching Activities »