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View Resource Teaching Mineralogy with Crystal Structure Databases and Visualization Software

This resource collection provides information on how to incorporate crystal structure databases and 3-D visualization software into undergraduate mineralogy courses. Features include background information for teachers on how to teach with data, models, and visualizations; commentary on the benefits of physical versus virtual models; and a set of links to online crystal structure databases. There...

View Resource Creating a Crystal Forest

This demonstration reinforces the concept that minerals can form even at low temperatures, meaning that these processes can occur at or near Earth's surface. Using 'water glass' (sodium silicate nanahydrate) and any of a variety of metal salts, the teacher can grow crystals of silicate at room temperature in a container as the students watch and record their observations. A student worksheet and...

View Resource Cleavage and Fracture

In this activity, students will learn the properties of cleavage and fracture (how minerals break when struck with a hammer), and will use these properties as a diagnostic test for identifying minerals. Working in small groups, they will break a selection of specimens with a hammer, observe the results, and record their observations. A student worksheet and discussion questions are provided.

View Resource Resource Scavenger Hunt

In this activity, students, individually or in teams, have a set amount of time to collect as many specific elements, mixtures, and compounds as possible which are used in daily life and come from earth materials. It reinforces the understanding of the definitions of element, mixture, and compound and points out the vital link between materials obtained from rocks and minerals and the levels of...

View Resource Historical Events in Minerals and Materials

These reports provide a review of significant changes that occurred during the twentieth century in industries requiring use of metals and industrial minerals. It includes a timeline and a summary that discusses major achievements in mineral production and events that affected the U.S. mineral industry. These events are related to overall U.S. mineral consumption and years of war or recession.

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