Grade Level: K-12
Mining is a complex process in which valuable or useful materials are
removed from large masses of rock.
- Wild bird food - any birdseed mix that contains sunflower seeds and
at least two other seed varieties
- Shallow pans
- Small beads (approximately 2mm) in blue, gold, and silver
- Medium beads (approximately 4-6 mm) in white
- Organize groups of four to six students.
- Pour approximately one pound of birdseed into each pan
- Mix two gold beads, four silver beads, eight blue beads, and three
white beads into each pan of birdseed.
- Search through the seed mixtures and separate out or "mine"
beads, sunflower seeds, and other grain products, making piles of each.
Allow your group five to 10 minutes to finish mining.
- Assign a value for each type of bead or seed.
Bead/Seed Value Chart
|Gold beads =
|Silver beads =
|Blue beachs =
|Sunflower seeds =
|Other seeds =
|White beads =
|(Reclamation must be done at all mining operations)
- Count the sunflower seeds and blue, silver, and gold beads from your
piles and calculate your earnings based on the values given above. Note
your earnings in a spreadsheet similar to the one found below. Also,
pay special attention to any environmental damage that was done because
of the mining. You can be fined for a messy table.
Earnings Spreadsheet Sample
|Gold Bead = Gold
|Number of beads
- Each group should total up the dollar value of its mining operation, subtracting
the environmental damage fines and reclamation costs. Each group will present
its success with the other groups.