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Arches National Park Geology Tour provides an extensive, visually rich description of the geology of Arches, by Deborah Ragland, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
These tools help you identify minerals! The tools include hand lenses (lower left), a penny for testing hardness (center), a streak plate (lower right), and an identification guidebook (top).
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Windows to the Universe

Make Your Own Mineral Identification Kit!

Stick these things into a small bag and take them wherever you go hunting for minerals.

  1. A hand lens lets you look closely at small mineral crystals or fossils.
  2. A small, white porcelain plate is used for a streak test.
  3. A penny and a small glass plate are useful for testing hardness.
  4. Kits with minerals that are labeled with their names can be handy. Compare minerals that you find to minerals in the kit.
  5. Printouts of the examples of crystal shapes from Windows to the Universe (or see if your book has similar pictures) allow you to identify crystal shapes of minerals.
  6. Bring a pad and a pencil to write down where you find minerals.
  7. A book about rocks and minerals that has nice color pictures and language that you understand

Last modified March 13, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

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The Fall 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on rocks and minerals, including articles on minerals and mining, the use of minerals in society, and rare earth minerals, and includes 3 posters!

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF