Computer Generated Crystals Using Shape

Kenneth J. Brock
,
Indiana University Northwest
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Summary

The software package known as SHAPE (Shape Software 521 Hidden Valley Road, Kingsport, TN 37663) provides an excellent method for accurately drawing crystals. The following three boxes describe the basic steps involved in using SHAPE. Refer to these instructions when completing the exercises.

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Context

Audience

This activity is designed for an undergraduate required course in mineralogy and is generally for sophomore or junior level students.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should:
  • be able to perform basic computing tasks
  • know basic crystallography, including Miller indicies, symmetry, and crystal forms
  • know basic geometry

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is a stand-alone exercise, but is part of a larger volume of classroom and laboratory activities from "Teaching Mineralogy," a workbook published by the Mineralogical Society of America, Brady, J., Mogk, D. W., and Perkins, D., (editors), 1997,406 pp.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

This activity will strengthen a student's ability to:
  • visualize crystal structures in 3-D
  • understand crystal symmetry, form, and Miller indicies

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

This activity enhances students' abilities to model complex ideas using a computer.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

The software package known as SHAPE (Shape Software 521 Hidden Valley Road, Kingsport, TN 37663) provides an excellent method for accurately drawing crystals. The following three boxes describe the basic steps involved in using SHAPE. Refer to these instructions when completing the exercises.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students have met the goals of this exercise if they have answered the problem set questions completely and accurately thereby demonstrating that they are able to analyze and interpret the data they collect.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

Brady, J., Mogk, D. W., and Perkins, D., (editors), 1997, Teaching Mineralogy, a workbook published by the Mineralogical Society of America, 406 pp.

SHAPE (Shape Software 521 Hidden Valley Road, Kingsport, TN 37663).

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