Monday, March 26, 2012

Mining/Minerals: Mining in a Nutshell

Originally posted on February 23, 2010

As promised, here is one activity from the Women in Mining website that I have used in my classroom: Mining in a Nutshell.

In this activity, students form mining companies and are given a $1 million budget (use play money, the students love it and "buy" into the experience all the more). The activity leads them through the process of mining: map making, exploration, drilling, mining and the costs associated with each process. There is also an optional processing phase. The Women in Mining have done a fantastic job laying out all the steps for you, so they're easy to follow. In addition, there's a great student worksheet, which makes it easy for the students to track their expenses at each step. Really helps students grasp that mining isn't just digging randomly into the ground - a lot of preparation goes into the process to increase the chances of it being a profitable venture.

A few changes I have made...
Instead of using peanuts (due to allergies and durability), I used poker chips (which automatically eliminated the processing phase). Instead of putting dots of paint on the chips, I used colored star stickers. The color of the poker chips is irrelevent. In a perfect world (with unlimited budgets), I would have the chips be all the same color, instead I went with what was available. The colored stickers are spread evenly amongst the different color poker chips.

When writing this post, I noticed that they have created a lower grade version of this activity. Looks like the process has been simplified for elementary students.

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