Aquifer in a Cup

Students build a model to see what groundwater looks like and learn some basic groundwater vocabulary.

Electrowinning (EW)

Students conduct experiments to explore concepts in mineral processing engineering (also known as metallurgy), industrial process engineering, and chemical engineering to iteratively improve the design of an electrochemical copper refining process. An electric current is used to refine copper from the mineral malachite.

A Paste with a Taste Activity

To allow students to produce a “marketable” product made from minerals that are used by most people every day. Both the abrasive and cleansing compounds found in toothpaste, calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate, are mined mineral commodities. Students adjust recipes to affect the flavor of the toothpaste they make.  Worksheet included.

Iron Minerals on the Moon

Students will model the process of magnetic separation of minerals that metallurgists use to separate valuable iron minerals from the rest of the minerals in the ore, using common breakfast cereal.

Aluminum: Saving Energy to Make More

A large amount of energy is required in processing aluminum ore (bauxite) to remove the other elements from the minerals in the bauxite to make pure aluminum metal.  Students will conduct a related experiment and calculation activity.