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This activity introduces students to the concept of the chemical formation of a mineral from a hot, semi-liquid melt, and to basic stoichiometric concepts regarding the formula of a mineral (or chemical compound). It can be performed by the students themselves or as a demonstration by the teacher. They will weigh out samples of iron filings and of sulfur, test them, make some observations of their properties, and combine the two elements in a test tube. Heating the test tube will cause a compound to form (most likely pyrrhotite, FeS). The students will test the new compound and compare their results with the previous tests on the component elements. A student worksheet, data table, and discussion questions are provided.
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