Did you know that 98% of the Earth’s crust is made up of only eight elements? This means that most minerals, including many birthstones, are made of these eight elements. Minerals can be identified by their physical and chemical properties which are a function of the elements from which they are formed. Like a fingerprint, each mineral type has its special characteristics and chemical composition. This discussion will be an opportunity to get personal with a few elements, and a few special minerals.
Get Ready!
To prepare for this Discussion:
Watch the video Physical Geology – Minerals – Introduction (above) for an overall introduction to minerals. 
Share Your Thoughts
Go to this Discussion Board and share your thoughts in a minimum of 250 words.
Your post should address the following:
Part A: Creating a “Crusty Mnemonic” for the eight most common elements in the crust   
Conduct an internet search to find the 8 most abundant elements in the crust and answer the following questions:
List the eight most common elements in the crust in descending order with the percentage in parenthesis next to each element. Example: Oxygen (47%), Silicon (28%), etc.
Compose an original mnemonic based on the eight most common elements in the crust The elements should be listed in decreasing order of abundance (from highest to lowest). Start with an “O’ word to represent Oxygen, then an “S” word to represent Silicon, and so on. Creativity and humor are encouraged. The idea is to make something catchy or funny that would help you remember these elements in order. Here is one of my favorites from last semester: 
Old Sassy Ants Insist Children Show Proper Manners
Part B: Minerals as Birthstones  
Conduct an internet search to identify your birthstone mineral and find key information. Note: Your month may have multiple stones. For example, the birthstone for June is sometimes listed as a pearl, but that is not a mineral. Keep digging (pun intended) for the birthstone mineral.
Give the name and chemical formula for your birthstone, e.g. citrine (a variety of quartz) is SiO2.
What class of minerals does your birthstone belong to?
Provide some information about the mineral’s properties, such as color, hardness, luster, streak, cleavage, and any special properties.
What element(s) impart color to this mineral?
Identify some industry or commercial uses of the mineral (besides jewelry).
Provide a “fun fact” about your birthstone.
Name at least two geographic places where this mineral is found and/or mined.
Access a photo to illustrate your birthstone and insert it into your post.
Respond to Your Colleagues
Include at least 2 responses to the posts of other students (each response should be a minimum of 25 words). Look for areas in which your colleague’s ideas may differ from your own. You may respond to your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:
Ask thought-provoking questions
Offer opinions supported by evidence
Share a new insight you have gained from reading your colleague’s post
Expand upon your colleague’s post
Offer an alternate idea or suggestion
To earn maximum points:
Length and Detail: Observe a 250-word minimum (on the birthstone portion) with enough length and detail to fully address each question in your main post
Originality: Use your own words, Broward College uses Turnitin services to detect plagiarism.
Formatting: Format your post so it is well organized for the reader.
References: Include credits (links) to the resources you used for the information for your birthstone.

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