An exercise on EARTH MATERIALS: Geology, Chemistry and Sustainability of MINERAL COMMODITIES

Aditya Kar
Fort Valley State University,
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Initial Publication Date: October 16, 2017


1. To introduce students to identify minerals in hand specimen using physical properties of minerals.
2. To make students understand and realize geology and chemistry of earth materials used in day to day life and their implications on sustainability.
3. To help students become a global citizen

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Learning Goals

What concepts and content should students learn from this activity?Identification of minerals in hand specimen using physical properties of minerals.

How does this activity teach geoscience in the context of sustainability and promote action?
By performing this activity students learn, understand and realize geology and chemistry of earth materials used in day to day life. As human population explodes and modernize to a western style industrial societal model and the pressure to find new raw materials is already becoming challenging as some of these are predicted to run out in our lifetime, the implications on sustainability and sustainable development becomes challenging and this activity will help students become a global citizen while acting locally!

Are there higher-order thinking skills (e.g. critical thinking, data analysis, synthesis of ideas) that are developed by this activity?
Critical thinking, data analysis,and synthesis of ideas are all explored and developed in this activity.

Are there other skills (writing, oral presentation, field techniques etc.) that are developed by the activity?
At the end of the laboratory sessions students have to write a synthesis and may also include oral presentation using Microsoft products.

Context for Use

The educational level = Undergraduate
class size = 20
institution type = 4 year bachelor's granting state university within the University System of Georgia

Is it a lab, classroom activity, homework assignment, or a longer project?
Lab Activity

How much time is needed?
2 Lab periods each 2 hours long

What are the technical skills and experience the students need to complete this activity?
No prior knowledge is needed

Are there other disciplinary skills or concepts that students should have already mastered before encountering this activity?
Not applicable

How is this activity situated in the course?
The activity is a part of the weekly laboratory activities and placed in the first half of the semester.

How easy (or hard) would it be to adapt the activity for use in other settings?
It is extremely easy to adapt this activity both by geology / science professors and also by non science major professors

Description and Teaching Materials

Teaching Notes and Tips


References and Resources