Properties of Rocks is the first in a series of Web-based modules that use microscope simulation to deliver science content in an interactive, inquiry-based manner. The Level 1 module is intended for an upper elementary audience. It consists of five investigations, each having a stated objective, procedure, and scientific background that leads the students through their exploration of rock samples. After completing each investigation, the students are encouraged to reflect upon their observations. There is also a teacher version of the module with a more detailed procedure including hints, suggestions for implementation, and more advanced subject content.

The development of the Properties of Rocks module was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.


The Properties of Rocks module was developed with the assistance of ASSET Inc.  according to the constructivist learning theory and is designed as an inquiry investigation. This module encourages students to explore, discover, and reflect on their learning, which leads to a deeper understanding of science concepts.


The Properties of Rocks module uses an interactive optical microscope (iOPT) simulator to allow students to explore rock samples at high magnifications. The iOPT brings to life the experience of using a real high powered optical microscope, just like a real geologist!

Web-based Curriculum
Key Features
System Requirements