Science Fridays: Identifying Minerals (IRL)

IRL = “in real life”

We received our first kit from the Young Scientists Club this past week. It was a mineral identification experiment with five real mineral samples. Emily was very excited to get started in this. It was really neat to see real life examples of such things as the acid test (we used vinegar). Plus this kit had an added test (compared to the virtual mineral identification experiments we did with Gizmos), using a magnet.

In this photo you can see her (in her pajamas still, she was that eager to get started!) with the five mineral samples laid out on a piece of paper. She is administering the “scratch test”, using a coin, an iron nail, her fingernail, and a piece of glass to test the hardness of each sample.


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Here she is testing each sample with a magnet to see if any have a magnetic charge.

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And here she is looking up the flow chart to identify her minerals, answering yes or no questions about each property she measured. Her only regret was that there were only five samples!


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