*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.
Minerals are sometimes precious, like diamonds. But most minerals are very common, like sodium, which is found in salt. How are minerals found and identified? How are our mineral resources distributed? Visit the USGS Mineral Resource Program to find mineral resources in your state. How are satellite images used to identify potential mineral sources? You can also find out how minerals are identified using spectroscopy. How are potentially harmful minerals, like mercury, dealt with? Visit the Mineralogical Society of America to learn how to identify minerals. They also have a database of crystal structures for different minerals. How do crystal structures of different minerals compare? (USGS, 2006; MSA 2006)
What was the most important thing you learned?
There are many different types of geodes and you need to give yourself a lot of time if you want to have a good project and if you work hard and try your best you will ALWAYS succeed.
What problems did you encounter?
It was very hard to find some of the rarer minerals.
Can you suggest any improvements or ideas?
Try doing 5 different minerals if you have about 1-2 weeks.
Overall, how would you rate the quality of this project?
What is your enthusiasm for science after doing your project?
Compared to a typical science class, please tell us how much you learned doing this project.
The Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.
If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
Just as a doctor uses tools and techniques, like X-rays and stethoscopes, to look inside the human body, geoscientists explore deep inside a much bigger patient—planet Earth. Geoscientists seek to better understand our planet, and to discover natural resources, like water, minerals, and petroleum oil, which are used in everything from shoes, fabrics, roads, roofs, and lotions to fertilizers, food packaging, ink, and CD's. The work of geoscientists affects everyone and everything.
Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist
Have you ever climbed up high in a tree and then looked at your surroundings? You can learn a lot about your neighborhood by looking down on it. You can see who has a garden, who has a pool, who needs to water their plants, and how your neighbors live. Remote sensing scientists or technologists do a similar thing, except on a larger scale. These professionals apply the principles and methods of remote sensing (using sensors) to analyze data and solve regional, national, and global problems in areas such as natural resource management, urban planning, and climate and weather prediction. Because remote sensing scientists or technologists use a variety of tools, including radio detection and ranging (radar) and light detection and ranging (lidar), to collect data and then store the data in databases, they must be familiar with several different kinds of technologies.
Everything in the environment, whether naturally occurring or of human design, is composed of chemicals. Chemists search for and use new knowledge about chemicals to develop new processes or products.
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