Grade Level: 4-8
Adapted from Women in Mining Education Foundation Activities
The purpose of this activity is to give the player an
introduction to the economics of mining. Each player buys
"property," purchases the "mining equipment," pays for the "mining
operation," and finally pays for the "reclamation." In return, the
player receives money for the "ore mined." The object of the game is
to develop the mine, safeguard the environment, and make as much
money as possible.
- play money ($19 for each student)
- grid paper (1 sheet for each student)
- chocolate chip cookie (1 for each student)
- toothpicks (flat and round)
- paper clips
- paper towels (for clean-up)
- Each player starts with $19 of play money.
- Each player receives a Cookie Mining
sheet and a sheet of grid paper.
- Each player must buy his/her own "mining property" which is a
chocolate chip cookie. Only one "mining property" per
player. Two to three types of cookies should be "for sale"; one
cheaper one with fewer chocolate chips than the other and
another more pricey cookie with more chocolate chips.
For example, sell "Chips Ahoy" cookies for $5.00 and "Chips Deluxe"
Players choose their "properties" knowing that the more chips they
harvest, the more profit they make.
- After buying the cookie, the player places it on the grid paper
and, using a pencil, traces the outline of the
cookie. The player must then count each square that falls inside the
circle, recording this number on the Cookie
Mining Spreadsheet along with the properties of the cookie.
Note: Count partial squares as a full square.
- Each player must buy his or her own "mining equipment." More than
one piece of equipment may be purchased. Equipment may not be
shared between players. Mining equipment for sale is
Flat toothpick — $2.00 each
Round toothpick — $4.00 each
Paper clips — $6.00 each
- Mining costs are $1.00 per minute.
- Sale of a chocolate chip mined from a cookie brings $2.00 (broken
chocolate chips can be combined to make one whole chip).
- After the cookie has been "mined," the cookie fragments and crumbs
should be placed back into the circled area on the grid
paper. This can only be accomplished using the mining tools — No
fingers or hands allowed.
- Reclamation costs are $1.00 per square over original count. (Any
piece of cookie outside of original circle counts as reclamation.)
Cookie Mining Rules
- Players cannot use their fingers to hold the cookie. The only
things that can touch the cookie are the mining tools and
the paper on which the cookie is sitting.
- Players should be allowed a maximum of five minutes to mine
their chocolate chip cookie. Players who finish
mining before the five minutes are used up should only credit the
time spent mining.
- A player can purchase as many mining tools desired; the tools
can be of different types.
- If the mining tools break, they are no longer usable and a new
tool must be purchased.
- The players that make money by the end of the game win.
All players win at the end of the game because they get to eat
the remains of their cookie!
The game provided each player an opportunity to make the most money
possible with the resources provided. Decisions were made by each
player to determine which properties to buy and which piece or pieces
of mining equipment should be purchased.
Each player should have learned a simplified flow of an operating
mine. Also, each player should have learned something about the
difficulty of reclamation, especially in returning the cookie to the
exact size that it was before "mining" started.
Earth Science Week Connections
Discover the Earth Sciences
Did this activity help you to understand
the way a real mine works? What would happen if one student had only
peanut butter chips in his cookie and another had chocolate chips in
hers? How would they work out a way to share their "resources?" How
does this activity relate to real-life mining?
Invite a geoscientist or engineer from a nearby mine or
quarry to come in to speak to the class.
Was the cookie mining activity messy? How was the mine
owner responsible for the mess? Do you think that a real mine would
produce a lot of excess material that would need to be cleaned up?
Can you think of any ways that a mine owner could be made responsible
for the impact made on the environment?
Earth Science is all around you
Do you use anything that comes from a mine? What is the most valuable thing you know of that can be mined?
What types of mines are in your state?