minerals

What "Solid" Means

At first, the word "solid" may seem simple, but when it comes to rocks and minerals, it can be tricky.

To explore this, we will use the same materials that we used to explore "naturally occurring." You will need as many of the items from the following list as you can find:

Collecting from Road Cuts


In many parts of the world, the rocks are covered by grass, trees, farmland, buildings, parking lots, etc. They can make if very difficult to find out what is under the surface. In those areas, road cuts are a great way to see the rocks that are normally hidden. They can reveal different layers of rock, faults, igneous intrusions, and many other geologic structures that are normally difficult to see.

Minerals Around You


A few common minerals.

Some mineral specimens can be quite beautiful, and finding minerals can be lots of fun, but are minerals really good for anything? Lets find out by taking a quick look at some common minerals, and some of the things that are made from them. Then we will see how many of the objects in the room around you are made from minerals. You will probably be surprised at how many of the things you use every day are made from minerals.

Minerals Glossary

Chemical formula: The chemical recipe for a specific substance. For example, the chemical formula of water is H2O, telling us that each molecule of water has two hydrogen atoms (H) and one oxygen atom (O). The mineral quartz has the chemical formula SiO2, so each molecule is made up of one atom of silicon (Si) and two atoms of oxygen (O).

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