Teach the Earth > Mineralogy > Teaching Activities > Mineral Densities

Mineral Densities

Joseph Smyth
University of Colorado at Boulder
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: Jul 8, 2009


This homework assignment is designed to help students learn about mineral densities and cell edge lengths by having them calculate each.

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This assignment is designed for an undergraduate required course in mineralogy.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have basic mathematics skills.

How the activity is situated in the course

This problem set is a stand-alone homework assignment.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

This assignment helps students understand how to calculate mineral densities based on cell edge length.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

Students are given cubic cell edge dimensions and asked to calculate mineral densities and vice versa. The final question of this homework assignment provides students with a mineral density and unit cell edge length in order to determine the number of formula units per cell.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students have met the goals of this assignment if they complete it accurately and show their work.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

This problem set is the 6th 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.

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