Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
Activity Option 6.2 - Gold Mining and Impacts part of Humans Dependence on Mineral Resources
This activity asks students to investigate different aspects of gold mining and think critically about the perceived and real needs for this mineral resource as well as the impacts (both positive and negative) that both gold mining and recycling can have. It integrates concepts and terminology from earlier in the course into real-world situations and personal decision making. This exercise is set up as a small-group jigsaw activity.
Activity 1.3 - Economic Development and Resource Use part of Humans Dependence on Mineral Resources
This short activity (10–15 minutes) for Unit 1 introduces students to the general relationship between economic development and resource use, and, particularly with the follow-up homework, the relationship among growing populations, increasing economic development, and natural resource extraction. The activity is intended to be completed by individuals or small groups but could also be used for a guided class discussion. This activity serves as a transition to Unit 2.
Pre-Unit 3 Homework - Abandoned Mine Lands & SuperFund/National Priorities List part of Humans Dependence on Mineral Resources
This optional homework asks students to investigate some of the impacts of previous mines, mining, and/or mineral resources processing on the surrounding environment and human health. Many of the sites were operated prior to significant changes in the U.S. regulation of mines that was instituted in the late 1960s. Through the investigation of an Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) National Priority List (NPL) website (aka Superfund), students will explore not only the impacts but also the amount of time, effort, and resources it takes to remediate the sites. This background can be referred to in later parts of the module when discussing mining in other countries where the regulations are not as stringent as those in the United States.
Activity 3.1 - Muffin Mining part of Humans Dependence on Mineral Resources
This activity is intended to fill the first part of a class period on mining and mining impacts. It is a hands-on activity in which students, in small groups, "mine" the blueberries or chocolate chips out of a muffin. This activity helps to review the reading materials and facilitate discussion about mining and mining methods, waste, beneficiation, landscape destruction, reclamation methods, and more.
Activity 3.2 - Ore Grades, Waste, and Remediation part of Humans Dependence on Mineral Resources
This activity focuses on the interrelationships of ore grades, economics, mining impacts/decisions, and other factors. It is intended as a small-group activity, where different groups of students work on one of three different parts, with classroom discussion as a follow-up.
To Teach is to Learn: Final Project in Envronmental or Intro Geology part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment asks students to create their own geological educational activity or demonstration (and corresponding write-up) which all students then present/enact during a conference-style presentation session on the last day of class.
Other Contributions (6)
Human's Dependence on Earth's Mineral Resources part of Humans Dependence on Mineral Resources
Despite humans' heavy reliance on Earth's mineral resources, few think about where the products they use come from and what it took to produce them. This module addresses that disconnect by combining learning about rocks and minerals (and how these become the products students use), methods of mineral resource discovery and extraction, and the impact of mineral resource use. This module allows important geoscience concepts to be taught in the context of important and immediate societal issues while also asking students to confront human issues such as environmental justice, economics, personal choice, and politics that may arise due to obtaining, beneficiating, transporting, trading, using, and disposing of natural resources.
Unit 1: People, Products, and Minerals part of Humans Dependence on Mineral Resources
This unit provides an introduction to the module. In addition to learning about minerals and mineral resources, students identify minerals that are employed to make commonly used products, thus tying resource use to each students' individual habits and decisions. The patterns of global resource use (with considerations of sustainability) are also addressed in light of population growth and economic development trends.
Unit 3: Mining and Mining Impacts part of Humans Dependence on Mineral Resources
In this unit, students are introduced to basic mining methods and processes. This unit also addresses some of the impacts of mining (particularly from mining for metals) on the environment and human health, and integrates concepts such as ore grade, economics, and mining-related decisions with resource use and manufacturing. Optional materials are provided so that instructors can modify the unit according to their class schedule and focus.
Unit 6: Mining, Society, and Decision Making part of Humans Dependence on Mineral Resources
In this unit, students explore a specific mineral resource (either phosphorus or gold) in depth, investigating the costs and benefits of mining, processing, and use. This unit builds on concepts from previous units.
Instructor Materials: Overview of the Earth's Mineral Resources Module part of Humans Dependence on Mineral Resources
Module Goal: Explain how and why managing mineral resources is a global challenge that depends both on geological (mineral-forming) processes and non-geological factors with various impacts on the environment and ...
Concept Maps part of Humans Dependence on Mineral Resources
Concept maps are a way for students to illustrate the structure of their knowledge. They are useful both as tools of learning and as assessments, and especially as formative assessments. Concept maps consist of ...