Cookie Mining

Grade Level: 4-12

Adapted from Women in Mining Education Foundation Activities

Purpose

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.

Materials

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Each player starts with $19 of play money.
  2. Each player receives a Cookie Mining sheet and a sheet of grid paper.
  3. 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" for $7.00.

    Players choose their "properties" knowing that the more chips they harvest, the more profit they make.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

  6. Mining costs are $1.00 per minute.
  7. Sale of a chocolate chip mined from a cookie brings $2.00 (broken chocolate chips can be combined to make one whole chip).
  8. 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.
  9. Reclamation costs are $1.00 per square over original count. (Any piece of cookie outside of original circle counts as reclamation.)

Cookie Mining Rules

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. A player can purchase as many mining tools desired; the tools can be of different types.
  4. If the mining tools break, they are no longer usable and a new tool must be purchased.
  5. 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!

Review

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?

Geoscientists

Invite a geoscientist or engineer from a nearby mine or quarry to come in to speak to the class.

Stewardship

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?