I love hands-on science activities, especially when I can integrate technology into my lesson. Two fantastic free apps for Earth Science are Mineral Identifier and Common Rocks Reference. These apps are full of information for students who are identifying rocks and minerals. If you’re school doesn’t have access to hands-on materials this app can work as a substitution.
Rock and Mineral Identifier Apps
Mineral Identifier App
One of the basics of identifying minerals is looking at cross sections of minerals under a microscope. That means a lot of hands-on materials you might not have can be substituted in one Mineral Identifier app! The app uses optical mineral identification methods and takes students through a series of questions that help students identify minerals in the database.
Common Rocks Reference App
This rock identifying app features real-life photos of rocks gathered from Scotland and observations about each rock. The rock identifier app also includes a series of quizzes to test learning and assess what information needs to be focused on with increasing difficulty. Students are introduced to basic geology ideas without an entire coursework in this easy to use rock identifying app.
Using Rock and Mineral Identifier Apps in the Classroom
Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app!
Using these apps to help supplement geology lessons in your classroom can help students visualize and get hands-on experience using rock and mineral identifier apps. While the process is streamlined to only use a small database of information, these apps replicate some of the same methods geologists use to identify rocks and minerals in the laboratory. You can incorporate these ideas into your geology lessons to help students gain a deeper understanding of basic geology foundations.