A Bit of Engineering

A Bit of Engineering Activity Source: Adapted with permission by JOI Learning. Background Courtesy Earth Science World Image Bank; Copyright © Noblecorp The JOIDES Resolution is an amazing ship that contains all the equipment necessary to drill into the ocean floor for samples of rock and sediment: a derrick, drill pipe, drilling tools, and drill bits. Once the cylindrical core sample arrives on the rig floor, the drill crew passes the 10 m core to technicians. [Read More]

Aggregates Matter

Aggregates Matter Activity Source: Adapted with permission by Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration. What do you know about AGGREGATES? Crushed stone, sand and gravel are the three kinds of rock fragments that are called aggregates. At the current rate of usage, every American will need 1.37 million pounds of aggregates in his or her lifetime. Aggregates are mined in every state in the U.S. Aggregates are the most commonly used mined rocks in all countries of the world. [Read More]

Awesome Fossils

Awesome Fossils Activity Source: National Park Service. Adapted with permission. Any evidence of past life preserved in a geologic context, such as within rock or sediment, is called a fossil. In this activity you will work as a paleontologist — a scientist who studies fossils to understand ancient landscapes, climate, and life on Earth — to find and identify fossils. The National Park Service preserves fossils of many types of organisms and traces evidence of their living behaviors, such as making tracks and burrows. [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]

Carbon Travels

Carbon Travels Activity Source: Adapted with permission by NASA. We find carbon everywhere on Earth ─ in trees, rocks, fossil fuels, oceans, and even you! Carbon doesn’t stay in one place, through. Scientists study how carbon moves from one place to another. This is the carbon cycle. The Industrial Revolution, starting in the 1700s, saw a move to large-scale manufacturing and the use of new technologies, such as steam power and electricity. [Read More]

Chocolate Rock Cycle

Chocolate Rock Cycle Activity Source: The Geological Society of London. Adapted with permission. How sweet is this activity? It’s an introduction to the rock cycle using chocolate! Chocolate can be ground into small particles (weathered), heated, cooled, and compressed — just like rocks. Unlike rocks, chocolate can undergo these processes safely and at reasonable temperatures. Use your chocolate to create “sedimentary,” “metamorphic,” and “igneous” chocolate. And at the end of it all, make a tasty treat! [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]

Dating Popcorn

Dating Popcorn Activity Source: Association of American State Geologists. Adapted with permission. How do geologists understand the Earth’s history? In part, they measure the age of rocks and other natural materials by dating techniques. They can date rocks by gauging the amount of decay of radioactive elements. The time necessary for half of any given amount of one element (the “parent element”) to decay to become another element (the “daughter element”) is called the element’s “half-life. [Read More]

Determining Mineral Reserves

Determining Mineral Reserves Activity Source: Minerals Education Coalition. This activity was adapted with permission from theOhio Mining & Mineral Education Program (OMMEP) of the Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA) in partnership with Wright State University. Common things we use every day, like roads, sidewalks, schools, hospitals and homes ─ to name just a few ─ are made up of rocks and minerals. As a resource, they are called mineral reserves and include materials like sand, gravel, limestone, granite, and other aggregate and construction materials. [Read More]

Different Times, Different Environment

Different Times, Different Environment Activity Source: Organizing partners of Geologic Map Day are the U.S. Geological Survey, the Association of American State Geologists, the National Park Service, the Geological Society of America, NASA, and the American Geosciences Institute. Geologic maps show the locations of various kinds of rocks at the surface. In places where rivers have eroded the surface, deeper layers become exposed. The opposite occurs when lake levels rise; rocks along the shore are covered by water. [Read More]