Key Earth Science Links
Rocks and Minerals Web Sites
Mineral Information Institute, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating youth about the science of minerals and other natural resources, and about their importance in our every day lives. This site provides a wealth of information for the classroom including lessons, activities, and guides for all grades. Some of the activities include information about the minerals in toothpaste, pencils, light bulbs, and other common objects. The Homework Help for Students section contains information about common minerals and their uses (and pictures), more than 45 photographs of minerals, and summaries of the rocks and minerals mined in each State. Poster packets are also for sale at a minimal price.
A Teacher's Guide for Hands-On Mineral Education Activities. Frank, D., Galloway, J., and Assmus, J., U.S. Geological Survey. This booklet describes the "life cycle" of a mineral deposit. The publication is geared to fifth through eighth grade teachers and provides content information and activities on minerals, mineral deposits, mining, and the uses of minerals. Activities (several from other sources) include orange-peel plate tectonics, peanut butter and jelly geology, cupcake core sampling, chocolate-chip cookie mining, extracting metal from rock, minerals in your body, rocks on your face, and making your own toothpaste. Available online for free in pdf format, or you can purchase a CD_ROM from USGS.
K12 Earth Science On-Line Classroom Activities, Society of Sedimentary Geologists. This site is the on-line version of the societys popular educational publication that has seven K12 lesson plans about rocks and minerals, including a lesson on crystal growing.
For many hundreds of high-quality images of minerals and gems, visit "theImage" site. Physical and chemical properties are shown on a page for each gem and mineral.
National Mining Association, is an industry association created by the merger of the National Coal Association and the American Mining Congress. Mining Statistics and Mining Education are two subheadings of the site. The educational component includes 40 common minerals and their uses, which is very useful, as well as fact sheets about coal, minerals, and what you should know about mining.
Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, is an international society of professionals in the minerals industry. The educational component of this site offers both free and sales material for educational use. The virtual atlas of opaque and ore minerals is free and contains more than 400 images of rocks and minerals as they appear under the microscope, with brief descriptions of each image. Also available are several videos, posters, workbooks, and teaching aids. Most are low priced.
The National Energy Foundation. Non-profit developer of innovative mineral resource education materials. The Out of the Rock section provides on-line information about how minerals are used. Ths site also provides inexpensive posters and teachers materials concerning electricity production, energy, and mining. An educational music CD, "Rock Music" is also available at cost.