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This lab will allow you to test some unknown mineral samples in a virtual online environment. You will conduct tests for hardness, streak, magnetism, and effervescence. You will need to download the mineral identification key and a blank data sheet for recording your work.

Lab Instructions

Visit the  Rocks and Minerals Identification website and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Notice the tabs numbered 1 through 20; these represent different samples that you can test. You will only test sample numbers 1, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17, and 20.

  1. Click the tab to access sample number 1.
  2. Learn the hardness of sample 1 by clicking the hardness numbers, 1 through 10. Record the hardness range of the sample in your data sheet. For example, if the sample is scratched by 4 but not by 3, then the hardness range is 3 to 4.
  3. Learn the streak of the sample by clicking the Streak Test tab. Record the streak color in your data sheet.
  4. Learn if the sample is magnetic by clicking the Magnet Test tab. Record the result in your data sheet.
  5. Learn if the sample effervesces by clicking the Hydrochloric Acid Test tab. If the sample reacts with acid, it effervesces.  Record your results in your data sheet.
  6. Repeat steps two through four for samples 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17, and 20.
  7. Use the mineral identification key to name each sample and record the name in your data sheet.


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