Exploring Rocks and Minerals

Investigate the properties of rocks and minerals through a rockin' hands-on activity. Learners test rocks for various properties and, using a guide, attempt to identify different samples. They use various properties including hardness, streak, magnetism, optics, and chemical reactions.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Ask individuals to bring in rock samples they would like to identify
  • Give a lesson presentation on the physical properties of rocks and minerals prior to the lab investigation
Classroom Considerations
  • Classification kits are available for loan from the Cornell Center for Materials Research with a four-week notice
Pros
  • Includes all necessary handouts and keys
  • Provides a rubric for assessing the activity
Cons
  • None