Exercises With Mineral Names, Literature and History part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
This activity is a series of exercises I assign outside of class time, with the purpose of getting students to explore the literature resources that are available for mineralogy. The inspiration for the exercises comes from my exasperation with the repeated questions: "Why do we have to know so many minerals?" and "What about these minerals do we have to know?" Rather than saying "Everything that is important," I hope to show students that what they need to know depends on what questions they hope to answer, and that mineralogy developed in historical context, parallel with other sciences.
Construction of Crystal Models and Their Graphic Equivalents part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
This laboratory exercise involves construction of physical and computer models of crystals based on a description of their symmetry. The purpose of the exercise is to help you visualize symmetry in two and three dimensions, and to help you explore the relationships between the different crystal systems. It is a problem-solving exercise: the morphology of the crystal is described in simple terms, and both physical and computer models should meet the requirements of these descriptions. Because the physical models may be used in other laboratory exercises, they should be large enough and precise enough for measurement, and durable enough to take handling.