Mineral Research Project:
(20 points)

Use thes URLs as ready resources, in addition to geology or mineral field guides:

(easy searches!)


(JAVA crystal systems)





(macro in situ images only)

macroselenite cave formation article & images

DANA Mineral Classification Mineral Name Search & Decimal Equivalent

Cut-Out Crystal Forms - WebMineral - Cochise College - (PDF-1) - (PDF-2) - (PDF-3)

Research any mineral crystal, ore, or gem, with these MINIMUM (70%) requirements:
(you do NOT need an actual sample of the material)

Describe 2 historic uses for the material; 2 points.

2 present uses, different from historic uses, 2 points.

2 field tests, (see links above + 3.2anr + CR3anr) 2 points.

Describe the
natural appearance of the material on a "macro" or large sample scale; 2 points.

Describe the chemical crystalline (atomic) structure (2);
2 points.

2 regions (Rockies, Am.Plains, etc.) where this material is commonly found; 2 points.

2 natural settings, or "in situ" descriptions of typical sites (mountain mines, stream beds, coastal plains, etc.) where it is commonly found; 2 points..

2 reasons why you chose this material to report on; 2 points.

Draw the crystal chemical (atomic) structure and title the report on the front cover, with full heading in the upper right corner; 2 points.

Draw a macro representation of the natural or finished material on the back cover page; 2 points.

Write at least 2 sides (1.5 pages) of notebook paper in readable longhand, single spaced, full length of the paper, in your own words!
If typed, use 1" margins, double spacing, font 12-14, on one side of paper
Copy and paste pasages from resources without quotes or footnotes = F!
your re-write demonstrates you can explain EVERY term you use!
Half off for anything copied & pasted, or that you cannot translate


 Use the Six-Trait Writing PDF / WebSite for guidelines


Remember - outlines lose 1/2 value : -O !

Missing/unacceptable components will result in partial credits.

1/2 acceptably completed = 1/2 available credit for that part . . . 1/3 done = 1/3 points awarded, etc.)

Example Diamond Research Report
(w/ only 2 examples ea.- done with less time & different grading)

Example Copper Research Report
(w/ only 2 examples ea.- done with less time & different grading)

Example Pyrite Research Report
(w/ only 2 examples ea.- done with less time & different grading)





 Mineral Crystal Growth Project: 30 Points

(experiment - detailed observation & analysis in lab critical)

Follow ALL instructions PRECISELY
Put a single charcoal briquette in a cup you form around your fist made of aluminum foil. Use a strip of paper inserted in the last fold of the aluminimum foil to lable your experiment with your name & class period. Use a plastic container to mix this list of ingredients together, & stir until solids appear mostly dissolved:

Use the provided graduated cylinders & balances in the lab. You can't mix this partially and finish another class & have it work! Store your experiment in one of the grey trays under the cabinets along the sides of the room (under the windows and glass cabinets - the trays under the presentatiuon screen are for my yse alone - I store geology examples there).

Pour the dissolved solution over the briquette, making sure at least some portion remains above the final level of the solution in the container.
Observe & record results in terms of WET or DRYconditions in the bowl, WHERE the
growth occurs in terms of substrate (paper, aluminum, charcoal, salt), and the COLOR of the substrate (yellow, brown, green, blue, or no color over the material the crystals are growing out of). All crystals will be too small to indicate color themselves, but their aggregate (large clumps) will show the individual crystal shapes.

Be sure to label your experiment clearly with your name and period, and be aware that no one can be responsible for its success or condition! - it's an experiment! Describe the crystal shapes using a hand magnifier, loupe, document camera, or microscope. I'll demo for each class how to use the computer microscope SAFELY without risking its optics.

ID your crystal shapes using loupes, document camera, or video microscope by trapping an aggregate example from 3 different growth regions between the sticty sides of clear tape. Retain the samples in your journal, labled by their location (blue aluminum, plain charcoal, etc.). They get attached to your report in the data section, with crystal shapes you observed added to the growth location. You state your best guess as to their mineral ID backed by your growth area and crystal shape evidence in the conclusion section.

(Please clearly lable each section!)

Begin by stating your
purpose in pursuing the activity - 3pts.

List the
materials and amounts used (see ingredients list above) - 3pts.

Describe the
proceedure (activities) you performed (how you assembled and observed your experiment) - 3pts.

Display your
data (results) - ( substrate growth observations) in clearly labeled tables or graphs - 20 pts - (10pts/day)

Detail your reasoning in drawing your
conclusions on what you grew on what substrate (what you think you grew on what, & exactly why) - 20pts.

Typed = 1 point

Use this ion reactants & products guide to help you form your conclusions.
(& Crystal Shapes)(2)



Tape & seal 2 different samples (color+carbon, plain carbon, colored aluminum, plain aluminum) for me to examine to verify your reported findings & turn it in taped to your paper.

Crystal Growth Experiment Example Lab Report #1

Crystal Growth Experiment Example Lab Report #2

Crystal Growth Experiment Example Lab Report #3


Additional XC Opportunities


Available TWICE - (1/4 lab credit each after completion of both mineral project components above) for self-guided crystal growth activity, with instructor's approval for an extra 10 project points each. Chose one manipulated variable from the above recipe each time.




Return to Planetology 8 HomePage


(take an early look at the next project set;> - remember - none of the next project activities are valid for credit until we reach their duedates as described in the syllabus!)