Take an active part in an expedition around the world!

With the "Forschungsreise" (Hands-on lab or "Research Expedition") of terra mineralia, school children and students discover natural sciences. During several programmes, students of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg help school children to get an impression of mineralogical and geological sciences. Apart from diverse microscopes, there are density scales as well as a scanning electron microscope, minerals and touchable rocks in the "Research Expedition".

Opening times of the "Forschungsreise"/Research expedition

Friday 11 am - 4 pm
Saturday - Sunday 11 am - 5 pm

Stereo microscopes

There are six stereo microscopes that visitors can use free of charge. Here you can get a closer look at different sand types, minerals and rocks. You can also bring your own samples to look at them.

Scanning electron microscope

Our staff will explain how a scanning electron microscopes works and you can watch students doing their research.

Microscopes with camera

With the help of special camera microscopes the visitors can observe their own minerals on big PC and TV screens. Furthermore it is possible to take pictures of samples or to produce 3D-pictures of the minerals. The pictures can be printed. (Laser print: € 0.20, high quality photo print: € 2.00)

3D- slide show

Visitors can see minerals or insects enclosed in amber as 3-dimensional images. It is also possible to take pictures of your own samples (on appointment).

Crystal systems

Minerals occur in various forms and shapes. Here you can see wooden models of the various crystal forms. Minerals are divided in 7 crystal systems (cubic, tetragonal, hexagonal, trigonal, rhombic, anorthic and monoclinic). Our staff will explain these systems to you, why minerals have certain shapes and how the mineral shape stands in relation with the atomic structure.

Streak colour

The determination of the streak colour is the first step when trying to identify a mineral. Visitors can determine the streak colour of different minerals. Also the question if the colour of a mineral is always indicative of its streak colour will be answered.

Mohs scale of hardness

Besides the streak colour, the hardness of a mineral is the most important property when identifying an unknown mineral. Our staff will show you how the MOHS' scale of hardness is used. Vistitors can test their new knowledge at different mineral samples.

The rock cycle

Here you can see examples of the three types of rock: igneous, methamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Our staff can explain how they originate, how to differentiate between these groups and how to identify them.


In the fluorescence box visitors can find out which minerals will glow when subjected to rays of Ultra-Violet light; which colours minerals have and which kind of UV-rays make them glow. Our staff will explain what exactly causes the colours or why some minerals will glow at all.


The research expedition also harbors a small library with books and journals concerning minerals and rocks. You are invited to do your own research using the literature provided.