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Minerals in Society

The learning of science is most captivating and compelling when educators can make a connection between the classroom content and their student’s daily lives. Relating a chemical process or abstract concept to a student’s lived experiences makes the learning personal, relevant and more accessible. This is especially necessary in the chemistry classroom where many concepts explore microscopic realities (atoms, protons, electrons, atomic radius, etc.) that are difficult to conceptualize.
The importance of minerals is evidenced by the names given to the great eras (the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Steel Age) in the evolution of human civilization. Mankind’s ability to mine, extract and exploit the physical and chemical properties of minerals has made the evolution of our modern world possible. Every product from toothpaste, to rechargeable batteries, to the displays on our smart devices, are made possible by minerals.
I have chosen to create a unit on the minerals in our world because such an exploration will provide a vivid connection between chemical principles such as color, electron configuration, and crystal field theory, to the worlds my students inhabit.

Cristobal Carambo
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