Mining in AP Environmental Science


On Tuesday, December 3rd students in Ms. Hicks environmental science class participated in a lab related to the impacts of mining on our planet. The purpose of the activity is to provide an introduction to the economics of mining. This is accomplished through purchasing land areas and mining equipment, as well as paying for mining operations and reclamation. In return the “miners” receive money for the ore mined. “One of the goals was to make as much money as possible,” said Maribel Hernandez. The general definition of ore is a naturally occurring material from which minerals of economic value can be extracted at a profit. The chocolate chip cookie represents land area to be mined. The chocolate chip is the ore. The worthless rock that is associated with the ore and must be separated from the ore is the gangue, the rest of the cookie is the gangue. “We bought a cookie and a toothpick to begin mining, we also had a time limit, because for every minute we were mining we had to pay $50.00 for costs,” said Jackson Aubrey. Many students competed against each other to make as much money as possible. Senior Maribel said, “We tried to get as many chocolate chips as possible in a short amount of time, so we could make the most money.” The lab was very educational in providing an insight on mining. “It was a lot of fun, mining the cookies. We also got to eat a few after!” Jackson said.