Hope International University

First part: There are two lab activities for this week. The Earth-Sun Relationships lab is in this week and should be downloaded and either printed out, solved manually, and scanned into a pdf and submitted here OR filled out as the Word document. Be sure to refer to the Help pages and the Introductory Reading pages (required). 

Important: One objective of the Earth-Sun Relationships lab is to improve your familiarity with working with a globe or working with a world atlas. (The globe is preferred to help with the context of the Earth-Sun relationships.) You may not use the internet for looking up locations for the lab! And for question C please note that it asks for the “nearest large city.” Since it is only accurate to one degree of latitude and longitude it will frequently place you in a suburb of the large city. The question asks for the large city it is nearest. A basic globe is sufficient for this determination.

The Mineral Kit exercise is an introduction to properties, identification and classification of minerals and is based on a mineral kit that you purchase. See the information on that exercise for details on purchasing. Each activity is worth 20 points, for a total of 40 points possible earned this week.

Part 2: Lab Assignment 2B: the Mineral Test Kit. Obtain a Basic Mineral Study Kit 

Mineral Study Kit (15 Specimens). Option for obtaining:

Order from Home Science Tools in Billings, MT. You want product RM-MISTUDY, Mineral Study Kit, 15 Specimens.

The cost is $15.95 plus shipping. Order online at homesciencetools.com or call 406-256-0990.

Alternate Source: This is a very similar kit that should have the same mineral samples

Scott Resources Mineral Study Kit

  • Order from School Specialty in Greenville, WI. You want product 111-2670

The cost is $15.89 plus shipping. Order online at schoolspecialty.com or call 888-388-3224

Once you have your mineral kit, complete the exercise below. Use a textbook if you have one or the suggested internet resources to help you define the terms given and answer the questions. Study the information on Minerals in the table and use it to help you sort the minerals by color, luster, and specific gravity as instructed. Make the comparisons and answer the questions asked, and include a photo of your sorted minerals for each characteristic. (Look up the specific gravity values  of the minerals at geology.com or some other website.)


Hope International University

part 1: The Geologic Strata and Relative Age Dating assignment is here:

Geologic Strata exercise.pdf

Print out these papers and answer the questions manually, then scan them as one pdf and submit to Canvas here.

Coaching Points

I like to view these as puzzles. You are given a particular geologic cross-section and you need to determine the series of events that arranged the rocks into the way they are now. It is important to use all the tools in your tool chest – that is the various principles (or laws) of geology such as the principle of cross-cutting relationships.

When doing these two cross-sections remember to not only get the geologic units in the right order but to do the other parts related to how they got that way.

Part 2

In this exercise, you will do a simulation of the random decay of radioactive elements and calculate the half-life.

If you are not in the lecture class and need a refresher on radiometric dating here is a short excerpt from the textbook

textbook intro to radiometric dating.pdf

There is also a very helpful YouTube video that demonstrates what we are doing and gives a bit more background to the science

Half-Life and Radioactive Decay

With that introduction, here is the Lab Assignment

Radioactive Decay Lab.pdf

And if you need graph paper, you can use the file from Week 1

3 graph paper.docx

And some supplementary reading if you are interested in a Christian Perspective on the topic:

Radiometric Dating – A Christian Perspective, by Roger Weins, PhD

Coaching Points

This exercise should be fairly straightforward. Follow the steps in the exercise and it is very close to the way it is done in the video.

It is important that as you collect the data that for each step you record the total number of parents and the total number of daughters – not the number of new daughters. Determine from the data (not the theory) the experimental half-life. And do it for several half-lives. That is, when was the first half-life reached at half the parents, when the second half-life at a quarter of the parents, and so on. You should be able to get four of them and then average them together to get your experimental result.

With that experimental half-life then you need to rearrange the equation in step 5 so solve for lambda, the decay constant.