A Paste with a Taste

A Paste with a Taste Activity Source: Adapted by the MEC from Women in Mining Education Foundation Activities Purpose To allow students to produce a “marketable” product made from minerals that are used by most people every day. Both the abrasive and cleansing compounds found in toothpaste, calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate, are minerals. Materials Calcium carbonate (finely powdered unflavored TUMS will work) Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) Small plastic cups (1 for each student) Popsicle sticks for stirring (1 for each student) Eye droppers (1 for each group) Plastic spoons (1 for each group) Water Assorted food colors and flavorings (sugar, mint extract, etc. [Read More]

Birdseed Mining

Birdseed Mining Activity Source: “Birdseed Mining,” Women in Mining Education Foundation, 2005. Adapted with permission. Background Mining is a complex process in which valuable or useful materials are removed from large masses of rock. Materials 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 Procedure Organize groups of four to six students. [Read More]

Cookie Mining

Cookie Mining Activity Source: 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. [Read More]

Core Sampling

Core Sampling Activity Source: Society of Petroleum Engineers. Adapted with permission. Core samples are small portions of a formation taken from an existing well and used for geologic analysis. The sample is analyzed to determine porosity, permeability, fluid content, geologic age, and probable productivity of oil from the site. Drilling is the only way to be sure that oil and gas fields exist and exactly what is present in the formation. [Read More]

Cupcake Core Sampling

Cupcake Core Sampling Activity Source: Adapted from Women in Mining Education Foundation Activities This activity is ideal for a small group of students, a youth group, or a parent-child activity. Purpose Trying to “see” what is beneath the surface of the Earth is one of the jobs of a geologist. Rather than digging up vast tracts of land to expose an oil field or to find some coal-bearing strata, core samples can be taken and analyzed to determine the likely composition of the Earth’s interior. [Read More]

Deep-Sea Drilling

Deep-Sea Drilling Activity Source: Adapted with permission by Deep Earth Academy. The JOIDES Resolution (JR) has physical dimensions unlike most oceangoing vessels. Why? So that scientists can sail nearly anywhere in the world to drill for samples of rocks and sediment from below the seafloor — in hopes of discovering clues about Earth’s history and structure, life in the deep biosphere, past climate change, earthquakes, and natural resources. Note for teachers: The JR has a flat bottom, a 6. [Read More]

Drill Site Dilemma

Drill Site Dilemma Activity Source: Consortium for Ocean Leadership. Adapted with permission. For teacher: The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international research program that explores the history and structure of Earth as recorded in seafloor sediments and rocks. It seeks to expand the reach of several previous programs by a collaborative union between the United States, Japan, and the European Union. The JOIDES Resolution is the research vessel that is operated by the United States. [Read More]

Earth's Hydrologic Cycle

Earth’s Hydrologic Cycle Activity Source: Adapted from the Ocean Institute Curriculum Series Overview The ocean is the key element in Earth’s hydrologic cycle (water cycle). Students will construct a simple model of the hydrologic cycle to help them visualize and understand the movement of liquid water and heat. Concepts The hydrologic cycle is the continual movement of water from one place to another and from one state of matter to another. [Read More]

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Activity Source: Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development. Adapted with permission. In Swords into Plowshares: At Home in a Missile Silo, Tony Crossley says of his underground home: “The winters are bitterly cold, the summers feature spectacular afternoon thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes, and throughout the year we get days when the wind is very strong. Underground it’s always quiet and peaceful, and no matter how cold it gets outside, the interior never freezes, even though we don’t have any heating yet. [Read More]

Exploring Energy with GIS

Exploring Energy with GIS Activity Source: ESRI. Adapted with permission. Locating crucial energy resources involves examining phenomena under, on, and above Earth’s surface. Some of these phenomena change frequently, such as winds. Others, such as oil and coal deposits, are products of long series of geologic processes. Yet all are geographic in nature — they occur in specific places for specific reasons. To determine the best regions to explore for new natural gas deposits, to determine the ideal places for wind farms, or to locate the best rooftops for solar panels in a city, Geographic Information System (GIS) technology and methods are vital. [Read More]