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Exploring Geochemistry in the Classroom Using MELTS Computational Tools
This guide instructs teachers in classroom use of the MELTS software package. MELTS is a software package designed to facilitate thermodynamic modeling of phase equilibria in magmatic systems. It is used by scientists to model igneous processes such as the composition of magma melts as pressure and temperature change, or to test scenarios such as how much sulfur a volcano gives off. Teaching topics include: mineralogy and thermodynamics, the mineral composition and properties of igneous rocks, and compositional variations in Earth's mantle and crustal materials. Students will learn to interpret phase diagrams; understand how melting can drive compositional changes in mantle and crustal rocks; use forward modelling to examine crystal fractionation and equilibrium crystallization; and perform experiments on a computer using compositional data from scientific literature. There is a link to the MELTS website with instructions for using the tool, links to scientific and educational resources that use the tool, and instructions for citing its use.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
  • College (15-16)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
    • Guide for instructor
  • Tools:
    • Software
Subject:
  • Educational theory and practice
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geochemistry
    • Geology
    • Mineralogy or petrology
Technical requirements:
Requires MELTS applet or downloadable software
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
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DLESE Catalog ID: DATA-CLASS-000-000-000-016
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Carleton College
Science Education Resource Center (SERC)
http://serc.carleton.edu/