(El) Students use a hand lens and dissecting microscope or Magiscope to examine and draw samples of sands taken from the Chesapeake Bay, as well as several other locations around the world. They look at grain size, shape, and color and compare them to the sand found close to home (Chesapeake Bay). Some sands will contain fossils, gems, and/or other minerals. Students can relate this to a study of world geography by marking on a small map where each type of sand originated. A variation involves matching a mystery sand or mixture of sands to one or more of the provided samples to solve a crime. Many of the sands from around the world were obtained for free from the Microscopy Society of America’s Project Micro Sandbox: Materials available: Supplies list and directions, student worksheets for “Sands from around the world” and “Solving a mystery with sands from around the world”.

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