Summer is a time for exploring the outdoors! It’s a time for playing outside and digging around in our yards — and what better way to get familiar with what we might find there than by checking out the GeoSafari Mineral Collection!
Minerals are “the building blocks of rocks,” and each mineral is important for its unique inorganic properties. The GeoSafari Mineral Collection contains twelve samples of common minerals, complete with an identification chart and information guide. The minerals in this collection range from calcite (a major ingredient in mixing cement) and halite (otherwise known as rock salt, often used in our food!), to the more visually remarkable, but still common sulfur and quartz, among others.
Students in the junior and middle years can pull out their magnifying glasses or microscopes to become scientific detectives as they investigate the physical properties of these minerals. Are they translucent or opaque? Thin and flaky, or dense and tough? What colours are they? Are they magnetic? Why might this be the case? By thinking about these minerals’ physical properties, students may be able to figure out where else these minerals might be encountered in everyday life, and why.
The GeoSafari Mineral Collection is just one collection among many that feature rocks and other hidden treasures from the earth. The Metamorphic Rock Collection, Igneous Rock Collection, Sedimentary Rock Collection, and GeoSafari Fossils Collection will keep the most enthusiastic young geologists and paleontologists busy all summer long!
The GeoSafari Mineral Collection, Metamorphic Rock Collection, Igneous Rock Collection, Sedimentary Rock Collection, and GeoSafari Fossils Collection are currently on display in the Display & Play area on the third floor of the OISE Library.