FANTASTIC FLUORITE FUN
In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a Fantastic Fluorite Fun excavation activity. These excavations are super easy to make and are a great teaching resource to include in your next lesson or discussion about rocks, minerals, geology, and more.
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Plaster of Paris
Popsicle sticks – Popsicle sticks are inexpensive, readily available, and make great excavation tools.
Safety goggles or glasses – You we need to provide or borrow a set for each student.
Optional – Brushes and magnifying glasses.
Fluorite - You can buy rough fluorite inexpensively online. Fluorite is beautiful and is seemingly glows under UV light which is super cool for young Excavating Adventurers to explore and investigate.
Any small container that will fit your specimens and allow room for the plaster mixture will work. I love rummaging through recycle bins for fun and unique containers I can use for excavations. For this tutorial I will use a Chinese food take out container.
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- Rinse out the Chinese food take out container.
- Place the fluorite in the container.
- Mix 1 cups sand with 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris.
- Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
- Pour the mixture over the fluorite.
- Place the Fantastic Fluorite Fun excavation in front of a fan overnight until it is completely dry.
- Cut and peel the Chinese food container away from the excavation. Place the excavation back in front of the fan if it is still wet.
- Optional - You can leave the excavation in the Chinese food container. Leaving the Fantastic Fluorite Fun excavation in the container looks really cool and even has the little metal carrying handle.
- Distribute the excavation, excavation tools, and safety goggles to your Excavating Adventurer and have fun watching them dig in and discover the awesome fluorite you have hidden inside.
- Clean the fluorite. Then in a dark space, have your Excavating Adventurer shine the UV light on the specimens.
Fluorite Fantasia: Colorful Crystals and Mesmerizing Facts!
Fun Facts about Fluorite:
Fluorite is a mineral that comes in a variety of vibrant colors, including purple, green, blue, yellow, and even colorless.
It is known for its fluorescent properties, which means it can emit a colorful glow when exposed to ultraviolet light.
Fluorite is often found in crystal form, with distinct cubic or octahedral shapes, and its crystals can range in size from tiny to quite large.
The name "fluorite" comes from the Latin word "fluere," meaning "to flow," referring to its use as a flux in metal smelting.
It is a relatively soft mineral, ranking 4 on the Mohs hardness scale, which means it can be easily scratched.
Fluorite is composed primarily of calcium and fluorine, and its chemical formula is CaF2.
Some fluorite crystals exhibit stunning color zoning, meaning they have distinct bands or layers of different colors within a single crystal.
Fluorite is used in a variety of industries, including optics, where it is ground into lenses for microscopes, telescopes, and cameras.
In ancient times, fluorite was believed to have protective properties and was used as a talisman to ward off evil spirits.
It is often found in association with other minerals, such as quartz, calcite, and pyrite, forming beautiful mineral combinations.
Fluorite is mined in various parts of the world, including China, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States.
Due to its vibrant colors and unique properties, fluorite is a favorite among mineral collectors and enthusiasts.
Remember, the world of fluorite is a kaleidoscope of colors and wonders, ready to captivate our imagination and ignite our curiosity!
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Question 1: What property makes fluorite emit a colorful glow when exposed to ultraviolet light? A) Fluorescence B) Transparency C) Magnetism D) Conductivity
Correct answer: A) Fluorescence
Question 2: What is the primary component of fluorite? A) Calcium and fluorine B) Iron and sulfur C) Carbon and oxygen D) Sodium and chlorine
Correct answer: A) Calcium and fluorine
Question 3: Which industry commonly uses fluorite for making lenses? A) Construction B) Electronics C) Optics D) Agriculture
Correct answer: C) Optics