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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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Exploring the Uniaxial Indicatrix part of Activities
Sarah Penniston-Dorland, University of Maryland-College Park
This activity gives the students a 3-dimensional perspective on the uniaxial indicatrix, its various parts, and the relationship between different orientations of the indicatrix and the corresponding optical ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Reagents, Compositions, Weight Loss part of Activities
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a short experimental study of several different reagents and what happens to them when they are heated to 110° and 1200° C.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Research Experiences in a Mineralogy Class part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Undergraduate Research:Case Studies
Dave Mogk, Montana State University Summary One of the goals of my Mineralogy class is to demonstrate how the principles and content covered in class can be applied to questions of geologic interest or that have ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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The Metrical Mastrix in Teaching Mineralogy part of Activities
G. V. Gibbs
The calculation of the d-spacings, the angles between planes and zones, the bond lengths and angles and other important geometric relationships for a mineral can be a tedious task for the student and the ...

A Term Research Project Focused on Electron Microprobe Studies of Unknowns in a Junior-Level Mineralogy/Petrology Course part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Undergraduate Research:Case Studies
Jeff Ryan, University of South Florida
Jeff Ryan, University of South Florida Summary Two students using the FCAEM Electron microprobe via remote operation in Jeff Ryan's GLY 3311C course. DetailsAs the core activity of petrology portion of a ...

Exploring phyllosilicate structures with polyhedral models part of Activities
James Rougvie, Beloit College
In this exercise, students build polyhedral models to learn about phyllosilicate structures and how they relate to physical properties. This directed-discovery activity is a very 'hands-on' experience ...

Mineral Classification part of Activities
Joseph Smyth, University of Colorado at Boulder
This homework assignment challenges students to determine the chemical classification of minerals based on their chemical formula. Students must also provide the valences of the various cations for oxygen-bearing ...

Point Groups part of Activities
Joseph Smyth, University of Colorado at Boulder
This mineralogy problem set tasks students with determining the point group Hermann-Mauguin symbol and crystal system for crystal stereograms.

Space Group Symmetry part of Activities
Joseph Smyth, University of Colorado at Boulder
This assignment tasks students with determining symmetry axes and identifying Hermann-Mauguin symbols for space groups based on a symmetry diagram.

Mineral Stoichiometry part of Activities
Joseph Smyth, University of Colorado at Boulder
Students are given mineral chemical analyses, from which students must determine cation formulae and mole ratios.

Coupled Substitutions part of Activities
Joseph Smyth, University of Colorado at Boulder
Students calculate the composition of minerals in weight percent given relative proportions of given end members. Students must also calculate mole percentages for feldspars based on their mineral analyses.

Mineral Densities part of Activities
Joseph Smyth, University of Colorado at Boulder
This homework assignment is designed to help students learn about mineral densities and cell edge lengths by having them calculate each.

Properties of Light part of Activities
Joseph Smyth, University of Colorado at Boulder
This problem set tests students understanding of the properties of light, including velocity, frequency, reflection, and refraction.

Phase Diagrams part of Activities
Joseph Smyth, University of Colorado at Boulder
Students are given a simplified temperature-composition phase diagram for the system enstatite (Mg2Si2O6) - diopside (CaMgSi2O6), and asked to interpret it by answering a series of questions.

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.