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Mining: We Depend On It

This material was originally created for On the Cutting Edge: Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.
David Mogk, Montana State University
Course: Environmental Geology
60 students
Connecting course topics to students' lives is a very effective strategy to motivate their learning.

The Activity

I present students with an advertisement from our newspaper that proclaimed "Life in a 125 ton mineral" deposit, with a picture of an American Dream Home, and a long list of raw materials and natural resources that went into the construction of the house. Final caption: "Mining. We depend on it." This forms the basis for an extended think-pair-share discussion.

This activity shows my students right away that the course is built around in-class activities (i.e active learning, small group work, participation) and it also highlights connections to many topics that will be covered throughout the term.

Additional Information

Discussion questions (Microsoft Word 137kB Aug22 08) for the Advertisement: Life in a 125 Ton Mineral Deposit
Advertisement: Life in a 125 Ton Mineral Deposit (Acrobat (PDF) 938kB Aug22 08)
Learn more about the think-pair-share technique.