Understanding Coal

Hands-on, critical thinking activities introduce intermediate students to the formation of coal, the coal mining process, reclamation of lands, uses of coal, electricity generation, and advantages and disadvantages of utilizing coal. 112 pages.  Find related curricula at www.need.org.

This Mine Of Mine

Middle school students explore the formation, geology, recovery, and uses of coal, as well as the reclamation of coal mine sites. Using sand, clay, soil and rocks, students build a miniature plot of land containing coal deposits. Students then learn about surface mining, and practice the method on a plot of land. After the coal is mined, students reclaim the plot of land and discuss how the coal is transported and used. 10 pages.  Find related curricula at www.need.org.  Originally from Project Stone. 

A World of Minerals in Your Mobile Device

This fact sheet from the U.S. Geological Survey shows ore minerals that are sources of mineral commodities used to make cell phones and a map of the countries that produce some of these minerals.

Reclaiming a Mine Site

Build a model reclaimed landscape in a plastic tub and observe and compare the growth of vegetation on one of eight model landscapes to learn that specific conditions are needed to re-vegetate reclaimed mine sites. This MEC page from the 2016 AGI Earth Science Week Calendar was created with permission from Caterpillar. To view the Caterpillar Ground Rules video and access the accompanying 75-activity guide go here.

Mining Fact Sheet

This Mining Fact Sheet summarizes major mining and mineral processing tools and techniques and highlights critical metals.

Mineral Resources Fact Sheet

This Mineral Resources Fact Sheet discusses some of today’s important mineral and mining topics such as minerals in your diet, industrial and construction minerals, minerals in green technology, artisanal mining and conflicts and efforts to address these.

The Rock Cycle

The Geological Society of London’s Online interactive resource The Rock Cycle, with the Rock Cycle Animation, shows how surface and deep Earth processes produce the rocks we stand on and use to build our homes.  Also find a glossary, demonstrations/experiments and extensive background information about the rock cycle.

Industrial Minerals Poster

Industrial Minerals are non-metallic, non-fuel minerals that are used in everything from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals. The front of the poster depicts 12 common industrial minerals and some of the important ways in which they are used. The back of the poster contains a map of industrial mineral producing areas of the United States, mine examples and three simple hands-on activities for testing mineral properties in the classroom. 36” x 24” 2-sided poster created in collaboration with the Industrial Minerals Association of North America.