Sand Study

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In this geology activity, learners use a microscope to discover and identify the components of sand. They learn about the different types of sand and about various minerals and organic particles that can make up sand. Further explorations examine topics such as beach topography and the economic importance of sand. Note: a stereo dissecting microscope is required for this activity (not included in material costs).

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 sand sample
  • 1 petri dish
  • Toothpicks
  • Diluted white glue (in small container)
  • 1 small capped vial (for picked specimens), optional
  • stereo dissecting microscope


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
      • Oceans and Water


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009