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Be a Mineral Detective—Student Laboratory Kit

By: Bill Grosser, Oak Park & River Forest H.S., Oak Park, IL

Item #: AP5949 

Price: $100.53

In Stock.

Be a Mineral Detective Student Laboratory Kit for Earth science provides eight unknown mineral “suspects” and challenges you to identify each mineral by name. “Detectives” investigate.

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Product Details

Given eight mineral unknown “suspects,” students are challenged to identify each mineral by name. Student “detectives” gather evidence about the eight unknown mineral specimens by performing numerous laboratory tests, including observation, light interaction, streak, mineral hardness, cleavage, smell, ice and solubility. Students then use the “clues” and properties gathered to identify each mineral by name. Reproducible student laboratory sheets and teacher notes with sample data are included. Kit contains 15 sets of mineral testing chips, 1 large teacher display set of each mineral, 15 Observation and Evidence 11" x 17" data tables and all the specialized materials needed to perform this lab.

Complete for 30 students working in pairs. Extra halite and calcite testing chips are available separately as these are the minerals that will dissolve in the solubility tests.


Materials Included in Kit: 
Vinegar, white, 400 mL
Magnifier, plastic, dual lens, 15
Mineral data tables, 16 tables
Mineral sample kit

  • Mineral testing chips, 15 sets
  • Mineral samples, 8
  • Nails, 15
  • Pennies, 15
  • Streak plates, 15

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Constructing explanations and designing solutions

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
MS-ESS3.A: Natural Resources
MS-ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

Crosscutting Concepts

Structure and function
Stability and change

Performance Expectations

MS-PS1-2: Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
MS-PS1-5: Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.
HS-PS1-2: Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
HS-PS1-7: Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.