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Granulometry, mineralogy and chemistry of sands as a purpose for promoting geosciences education activities

Abstract

Sand, as other unconsolidated sediments, is the product of an important step of the rock cycle, and its formation and accumulation processes, associated to the Earth dynamism, are easily observable in various natural settings (beaches, eolic dunes, rivers, lakes). As us, humans, each sand grain tells a story which may be revealed through the investigation of its properties, at different observation scales and analytical methods. Considering sand material, it signifies physical (textural), chemical (mineralogical) and biological (micropaleontology) properties, investigated by sieving techniques, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, chemical analyses, etc.The deficiency of educational materials in Geosciences and the lack of geological culture of primary and secondary education students and general population need a reform the concepts and principles about geological processes and products through approaches that achieve an arousing interest on our systemic functioning planet. One of these approaches consists in "track" the formation story of sand grains, thinking about the origin of their more perceptible properties such as color and size, also as the less detectable ones such as shape and composition.Thus, the purpose of this project is studying sands from different depositional environments and localizations, highlightening the São Paulo State beaches in order to supply content for educational activities and the creation of educational kits that contemplate geosciences and environmental education themes. (AU)

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