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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment

High School Science Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

In order to provide accurate information about the uses and importance of minerals in our daily lives the science and social studies lesson plans provided here were prepared in conjunction with MSDE and designed to meet core learning goals. Through the science and social studies lesson plans students will get lessons in geography, economics, politics and geology. Each of the lesson plans has been field tested by the teachers who wrote them and other interested teachers. Results from both students and teachers have been positive. The lesson plans are designed to have interactive and group components to encourage the students to do research and work together. The supporting materials are available through the Minerals, Oil and Gas Division (410) 631-8055.

CONTENT AREA: High School Earth Science

AUTHORS:

    Fred Hatch, Old Mill High School, Anne Arundel County

    Greg Helms, North County High School, Anne Arundel County

TITLE: Mining in Maryland

OVERVIEW:

This lesson, "Mining in Maryland," engages students by asking them to think about the materials in their lives that are mined. As they work in small groups, the students explore their assigned topic and collect information about a particular type of mine in Maryland. The groups can use the media center to collect information about the mining industry. Students focus on mining techniques, economic importance, and environmental impact in Maryland’s mining industry. When the research activity is completed, the groups share their findings with their classmates.

Students will follow a simple format in reporting their research.

To better understand the mining process, students will experience it through a simulation. They will use a simulation based on one of the three mine types found in Maryland - coal, crushed rock, and sand and gravel.

The extension will involve the creation of a pamphlet by the students. This pamphlet will describe the mining process and its impact on the state’s economy, environment, and lives of its citizens.

Mining in Maryland is designed to increase student understanding about the mining industry in the state. The expectation is that students will acquire knowledge that will increase their awareness of the state’s resources and techniques used to recover them. The unit is intended for six class periods of forty-five to fifty-five minutes.

REQUIRED MATERIALS:

  • Internet access
  • Posters: "Rocks and Minerals: and How We Use Them"
  • "Aggregates: Nature’s Building Blocks"
  • Laboratory Materials:
  • Large tray Spoons
  • Pan Balance Sifters
  • Containers Sand
  • Coal Crushed Stone
  • Vinegar
  • Antacid tablet

 

Lesson Component

Description of Activity

Activity

Core Learning Goal Indicators

Engagement

The activities in this section capture the students' attention, stimulate their thinking, and help them access prior knowledge.

Teacher asks students to identify materials found in the classroom that are mined products.

1

CLG 1.1: Explain why curiosity, honesty, openness and skepticism are highly regarded in science.

CLG 2.5.2: Analyze the effects of natural cycles on human activity.

Exploration

In this section, students are given time to think, plan, investigate, and organize collected information.

*Students identify products produced by Maryland mining industry.

*Students work in cooperative groups to research mining IN Maryland, using print, Internet, and other media to produce a display chart.

*Students investigate surface mining and underground mining techniques in Maryland.

2

CLG 1.12.3: Select and correctly use appropriate instrumentation including computers and their accessories when conducting an investigation.

CLG 1.4: Demonstrate that data analysis is a vital aspect of the process of scientific inquiry and communication.

CLG 2.4.3 Use texture and composition to describe various types of rocks.

CLG 2.5.2: Analyze the effects of natural cycles on human activity.

Evaluation

Evaluation occurs throughout the lesson. Scoring tools developed by teachers and students target what students must know & do. Consistent use of scoring tools improves learning.

The teacher will check the accuracy of charts and displays before the groups share information.

 

CLG 1.12.6: Interpret and communicate findings through speaking, writing, and drawing using developmentally appropriate methods including technology tools and telecommunications.

CLG 2.4.3 Use texture and composition to describe various types of rocks.

CLG 2.5.2: Analyze the effects of natural cycles on human activity.

Explanation

Students are now involved in an analysis of their exploration. Their understanding is clarified and modified because of reflective activities.

Students use display charts to present information related to their aspect of mining in Maryland

3

CLG 1.12.6: Interpret and communicate findings through speaking, writing and drawing using developmentally appropriate methods including technology tools and telecommunications.

CLG 2.4.3 Use texture and composition to describe various types of rocks.

CLG 2.5.2: Analyze the effects of natural cycles on human activity.

Exploration

In this section, students are given time to think, plan, investigate, and organize collected information.

Students complete modeling activity of one of three mine types found in Maryland: crushed rock, coal, and sand and gravel.

Students model mining and reclaiming the area of resources

4

CLG 1.3: Carry out scientific investigations effectively and employ the instruments, systems of measurement, and materials of science appropriately.

CLG 1.4.8: Use models to extend understanding of scientific concepts.

CLG 1.12.10: Design, construct, and use models to make predictions about actual events.

CLG 2.4.3 Use texture and composition to describe various types of rocks.

CLG 2.5.2: Analyze the effects of natural cycles on human activity.

Explanation

Part 1:

Students are now involved in an analysis of their exploration. Their understanding is clarified and modified because of reflective activities.

Part 2:

Students are now involved in an analysis of their exploration. Their understanding is clarified and modified because of reflective activities.

Student will explain results and will determine the potential ability of their model mine to make a profit and explain how they arrived at their decision.

 

 

 

The teacher will ask the questions:

What is acid mine drainage?

Why should we be concerned about

acid mine drainage and its control?

The teacher will show "acidic ground water."

5

CLG 1.5.8: Communicate conclusions derived through a synthesis of ideas.

CLG 1.12.12: Explain that when designing a device or process risk analysis and technology assessment determines how it will be employed.

CLG 6.12.4: Use concepts from chemistry and physics to analyze and explain how human activity can have positive and negative effects on the environment.

CLG 6.12.5: Investigate and analyze environmental issues from local to global perspectives.

Exploration

In this section, students are given time to think, plan, investigate, and organize collected information.

The teacher will demonstrate how acid mine drainage can be handled.

6

CLG 1.4.8: Use models to extend understanding of scientific concepts.

CLG 1.5.8: Communicate conclusions derived through a synthesis of ideas.

CLG 1.12.12: Explain that when designing a device or process risk analysis and technology assessment determines how it will be employed.

CLG 4.4.6: Describe a neutralization reaction.

CLG 6.12.4: Use concepts from chemistry and physics to analyze and explain how human activity can have positive and negative effects on the environment.

DLG 6.12.5: Investigate and analyze environmental issues from local to global perspectives.

Explanation

Students are now involved in an analysis of their exploration. Their understanding is clarified and modified because of reflective activities.

Students will write a conclusion for the demonstration. This will include the purpose and description of the demonstration.

7

CLG 1.5.8: Communicate conclusions derived through a synthesis of ideas.

CLG 1.12.12: Explain that when designing a device or process risk analysis and technology assessment determines how it will be employed.

CLG 4.4.6: Describe a neutralization reaction.

CLG 6.12.4: Use concepts from chemistry and physics to analyze and explain how human activity can have positive and negative effects on the environment.

CLG 6.12.5: Investigate and analyze environmental issues from local to global perspectives.

Exploration

In this section, students are given time to think, plan, investigate, and organize collected information.

The teacher will ask, "What happens when water flows quickly across loose dirt? What concerns should we have about sedimentation and controlling it? The student will show sediment-laden water from a "mine" site.

The teacher will demonstrate how a "settling basin" can clean up very dirty water.

8

CLG 1.4.8: Use models to extend understanding of scientific concepts.

CLG 6.12.4: Use concepts from chemistry and physics to analyze and explain how human activity can have positive and negative effects on the environment.

CLG 6.12.5: Investigate and analyze environmental issues from local to global perspectives.

Explanation

Students are now involved in an analysis of their exploration. Their understanding is clarified and modified because of reflective activities.

Students will write a conclusion for the demonstration. This will include the purpose and description of the demonstration.

9

CLG 1.5.8: Communicate conclusions derived through a synthesis of ideas.

CLG 1.12.6: Interpret and communicate findings through speaking, writing, and drawing using developmentally appropriate methods including technology tools and telecommunications.

CLG 1.12.12: Explain that when designing a device or process risk analysis and technology assessment determines how it will be employed.

CLG 6.12.4: Use concepts from chemistry and physics to analyze and explain how human activity can have positive and negative effects on the environment.

CLG 6.12.5: Investigate and analyze environmental issues from local to global perspectives.

Extension

This section gives students the opportunity to expand and solidify their understanding of the concept and/or apply it to a real world situation.

The students will work in their home groups to prepare their section of the pamphlet that will be submitted to the Maryland mining industry’s contest.

 

10

CLG 1.12.6: Interpret and communicate findings through speaking, writing, and drawing using developmentally appropriate methods including technology tools and telecommunications.

CLG 6.12.4: Use concepts from chemistry and physics to analyze and explain how human activity can have positive and negative effects on the environment.

CLG 6.12.5: Investigate and analyze environmental issues from local to global perspectives.

Evaluation

Evaluation occurs throughout the lesson. Scoring tools developed by teachers and students target what students must know & do. Consistent use of scoring tools improves learning.

The teacher will evaluate the work submitted by the students for the pamphlet. The teacher may send quality products to the Maryland Mining Association for review.

 

CLG 1.12.6: Interpret and communicate findings through speaking, writing, and drawing using developmentally appropriate methods including technology tools and telecommunications.

CLG 6.12.4: Use concepts from chemistry and physics to analyze and explain how human activity can have positive and negative effects on the environment.

CLG 6.12.5: Investigate and analyze environmental issues from local to global perspectives.

 

THINGS FOR THE TEACHER TO CONSIDER:

1. Scientific principle(s)

  • Mining techniques
  • Environmental impact of the mining industry, particularly in Maryland
  • Acid mine drainage
  • Reclamation
  • Use of mined products

2. Problem(s)

  • What are valuable mined raw materials in Maryland?
  • How are these materials mined?
  • How are these materials processed?
  • How are these materials transported?
  • How are these materials used?
  • How is the land restored or reclaimed?

3. Information sources

  • Internet
  • Print media
  • Industry materials
  • Government materials (Local, State, Federal)
  • Laboratory work

4. Reading to be informed

  • Global understanding stance
  • Developing Interpretation stance
  • Personal reflection/response stance

5. Writing to inform

 

Engagement

Teachers' Preparation for Activity #1

The teacher engages the students by involving them in a scenario. The activity can be introduce by saying, "The Maryland Mining Association" is sponsoring a contest. The purpose of this contest is to make citizens more aware of the importance of the Maryland mining industry. Our class is going to participate in this contest. For the contest, you will produce a student-created pamphlet to educate the people of Maryland about mining in their state. You will focus on the impact of the mining industry on the environment, economy, and people of Maryland. To help us get started, we will do a brainstorming activity."

This activity is best done in a think – pair – share style. Read the "Directions for the Students."

Students work in groups of two or three.

The teacher asks the students to make a list of ideas related to mining – the process and the products. They are told to create a list. Some of the expected responses are coal, digging, blasting, tunnels, shafts, energy, underground, gold, and pollution. The list should contain several items. Posters identified under "Required materials" or other visuals can be used to help students during the brainstorming.

The teacher may prompt students with questions.

"Look around the classroom, what do you see that is mined?

What types of materials are usually mined?

Why do we need mined materials?

Where are some known mining areas?"

At this point, no judgments should be made.

After students have had time to create their lists, they should discuss the list with one or two other students. Ask the students to notice similarities in their thinking. Each group should share their thoughts with the class. The teacher may designate a student to write the list on a board or overhead.

The discussion continues with the teacher asking, "Has anyone ever seen or been in a mine? What kind? Where?" Likely responses include gold mines or coal mines. The teacher then asks if students consider rock quarries or sand and gravel operations to be mines?

As student interest is piqued, the teacher leads the discussion to mining in Maryland. The teacher asks the students to compile a list of resources mined in Maryland. Expected responses include coal, crushed rock, and sand and gravel. The teacher may need to give some hints.

DIRECTIONS TO READ TO STUDENTS:

In the activity you are about to do, you will be asked to think about mining. You should think about what you know about mining, what does mining do for you, and what do you have as the result of mining? After you have had time to think about the above questions the teacher will ask you and a partner to construct a list that answers those questions. As part of the above activity, you and your partner will be expected to participate in a classroom discussion about the things you have written on your list.

TEACHER PREPARATION FOR GROUPING STUDENTS IN ACTIVITIES #2:

Students should be placed in cooperative learning groups for the following activities. A modification of Expert-Expert works well for the activity. The class should be divided into three home groups. Each home group will collect and display information about one of the three research topics. One group will collect information about coal mines. Another group will research sand and gravel mines and the third will investigate crushed stone mines.

Within these home groups are sub-groups that focus on three categories: the mining techniques that are used, the economic importance of the mine, and its environmental impact. The sub-groups should work separately to collect information and to report their findings to the home group. The home group then prepares a comprehensive chart that displays the group’s findings. A report is made to the class.

The mining techniques group should research different mining techniques for their product and relate them to use in Maryland. The economic importance group should search for data that identifies the importance of the product to the local and state economy. The environmental concerns group should consider sedimentation, acid mine drainage, and the impact to the flora and fauna of their product. Reclamation of the land should also be considered.

After each group has reported, the class may then compile a generalized list of mining techniques, economic importance and the environmental impact of mining in Maryland.

WORK GROUPS:

COAL HOME GROUP

SAND AND GRAVEL HOME GROUP

CRUSHED STONE HOME GROUP

Mining Techniques

Mining Techniques

Mining Techniques

Economic Importance

Economic Importance

Economic Importance

Environmental Impact

Environmental Impact

Environmental Impact

 
 
 
Exploration

Teacher Preparation for Activity #2

Students will collect information about the mining industry in Maryland by using the Internet, print material, and other media resources. The following ideas should be included in the students’ research:

  • Products mined in Maryland 
  • Techniques used in the mining
  • The economic importance of the product
  • The industry’s profit
  • How the raw material is processed
  • How the material is transported
  • The environmental impact
  • Reclamation of land and water resources
  • Use of water in mining process
  • Sedimentation
  • Acid mine drainage

Students work in small groups. They will collect information for about two days, using the school’s media center and resources at home. The groups are then to organize their information for the presentation to their class.

Class presentations should address the areas listed above. The teacher will have students complete a chart summarizing the information received from each group.

The teacher monitors the information for accuracy and effectivenes

 

Exploration

Teacher Preparation for Activity #4, the Simulation

In this activity, students will recover different usable resources by using a surface mining simulation. The methods used are somewhat dependent on the resources being recovered in the simulation. The students will be expected to deal with some of the issues that confront mining companies.

There are three types of usable resources represented in this modeling activity. These resources are commonly mined in Maryland. They include coal, crushable stone, sand and gravel.

Students will be assigned to a mine model based upon their research group. The "Coal" research group will mine for "coal" the "Crushed Rock" research group will mine for crushable rock and so on.

Students will need to record information and restore the "land" in their model. Therefore, they must mine carefully and not destroy the topography of their model.

MATERIALS: (for groups of about 3 students):

  • 1 large tray containing the mine model
  • 2-3 sizes of spoons (shovels)
  • Pan Balance
  • Sifters (metal colanders, small sifting devices, or some type ofscreen sifter)
  • 4 -5 containers (100 – 1000 ml; more containers may be permitted).

PROCEDURES FOR THE TEACHER:

1. The teacher will set up the "mines" for students: Please see the instructions below.

Coal:

Profile View: Model for Coal Representation

Sand to a depth of about 4cm.

 

 

The sand in this mine represents overburden. Overburden is the material that is found on top of the recoverable resource,

Coal to a depth of about 2cm

 

This is the recoverable resource. Thickness and depths vary.

Sand to an additional depth of about 2cm

This is what is under the recoverable resource. You do not want to dig into this layer at all.

Crushed Stone Mine:

Profile View: Model for Crushed Stone

Sand to a depth of about 4cm.

 

 

The sand in this mine represents overburden. Overburden is the material that is found on top of the recoverable resource

Crushed stone to a depth of about 2cm

 

This is the recoverable resource. Thickness and depths vary.

Sand to an additional depth of about 2cm

This is what is under the recoverable resource. You do not want to dig into this layer at all.

Sand and Gravel Mine:

Profile View: Model for Sand and Gravel

Sand and gravel mixed to a ratio of about 60% sand and 40 % gravel filling the tray.

 

 

 

 

In this mine model there is no overburden present, however, in normal situations there would be some overburden.

2.  Students will receive their equipment from the teacher.

3.  The teacher will provide any explanations needed before the students start the lab.

4.  Student groups will complete the activity that models mining for their resource. As students mine, they will need to:

  • keep all materials and equipment on the mine site (lab station).
  • weigh and record the mass of all materials that are moved - overburden and the resource.
  • remember that this land must be reclaimed.
  • remember what the surface was like prior to mining. The land should look the same after the activity is completed.
  • restore the land before the activity is co
  • restore coal mine to original topography
  • restore crushable rock or sand and gravel mines to a useable form.

5.  Using the equipment available the students will recover their resource.

  • For the coal and crushed rock models, this is accomplished by sifting to separate it from the overburden (sand). Note to the student: Do not put any more of the overburden through the sifting devices than is necessary.
  • The crushed rock or coal is stored in the provided containers.
  • Overburden may be dumped back onto the mine site.
  • In the sand and gravel model, the two are separated and stored in the provided containers. Don’t forget to find the mass of each container before and after you fill it.

6.  The quantities of materials that are moved (overburden and resource) must be measured. Use the provided containers. Put the materials in these containers then record the information on the student worksheet.

MATERIALS EXPLANATION:

The teacher will create the mine models (make several extra). The extra models are for the convenience of the teacher. Turnaround time between classes may make it difficult for the teacher to reconstruct the "coal" and "crushable" rock models. Having extra models made up in advance will make this easier.

To create the models, you will need a tray (at least 23cm X 30cm, 10cm deep – a larger tray is better) containing the correct materials for the type of mine model. Some trays will be coal models, some trays will be crushable rock models and some will be sand and gravel models. Aluminum cooking trays will work, however, a plastic tote tray may be better. The models need at least 8 cm of mining material to make this activity work well.

The teacher will need to have a quantity of:

  • Sand (play sand is acceptable).
  • Gravel (Fish tank gravel - shiny coating works best).
  • Small pieces of coal ("rice coal" or black fish tank gravel)
  • Small pieces of crushed marble (or white fish tank gravel)

      (Note: some trays will have coal or limestone layers)

The teacher mixes sand and gravel for the sand and gravel mine model. Using fewer different sizes of materials, permits easier separation within the classroom time frame. Use local dealers for unsorted sand, pet stores for "natural" washed gravel or colored fish tank gravel. Recommended mix for sand and gravel mine is 60% sand, 40% gravel.

If students do not use larger tote trays, set smaller trays on large construction paper or newspaper so that all materials (balance is an exception) may be kept at the site of the mine. In reality, because of environmental concerns, mining companies must contain water, dust, dirt and excreta on the mine site so as to avoid pollution of the waterways and air.

The directions for the models are provided to give a rough idea of the arrangement of the materials in the tray. The coal or crushed rock layers do not need to be the same thickness throughout the mine. In nature, coal is sometimes found in several thin layers rather than one thick layer, variety in layering is acceptable. Thicker, thinner, or even multiple layers, "pockets" etc. would more closely resemble nature. If the teacher has more sophisticated students, then a more sophisticated model can be constructed.

Small pieces of coal ("rice" size) are recommended. Local coal dealers should have this available in bags of about 40 pounds. If coal is not available locally, black fish tank gravel can be substituted.

Not all trays are the same. The teacher should label the trays according to the type of mine model they represent and be sure to assign the mine models to the groups that researched that particular topic.

Provide two or three spoon sizes for shoveling equipment that will be used for removing the overburden or recoverable material. The students will select the size that works best for them.

You will need four to five containers. These will be used to determine the mass of the materials and store materials on site. Beakers or Styrofoam cups will work well.

One sifter should be available for sand removal at each mine. The type of sifter is up to the teacher. Please remember that the size of the holes in the sifter should be smaller that the gravel, coal, and crushed stone but larger than the sand.

After the lab activity is completed, the teacher should remix the sand and gravel before replacing it in the sand and gravel mine.

In the coal and crushable rock models, sand alone will represent the overburden and other materials. Keeping gravel out of these mines makes the sifting process much easier. Perfect layering in these mine models is not critical.

NOTES:

  • Deep trays will allow for different depth arrangements.
  • Do not make all trays flat on top. Create some topography. For coal mines, students should restore the land to the original topography. The other two should be restored to a useable form. In a real situation, the crushable rock quarry usually becomes a lake. Restoration for sand and gravel operations depend on where they are located. (In one sand and gravel operation northeast of Baltimore, part of its reclaimed land is used for an industrial park, some for residential communities and some is restored as forested land.
  • The teacher will also explain the use of the available "mining equipment."
  • Often when these materials are purchased they are damp or even wet. Because there is a tendency for them to "clump" together, it is often advisable to open the bags and give the materials time to dry out some before they are used.
  • Please read the student worksheet carefully. The students are asked to find the mass of their materials and record this information in the chart (number 2). After the information is recorded students do several simple math calculations and write their answers in the blank spaces provided (number 3). Using the information from the math problems, students are asked to make a decision about their model mine (information below number 3 helps them with their decision) and explain their answer.
  • The teacher may use this worksheet as one evaluation tool. The teacher will need to look at the worksheet and decide if the students have done the calculations correctly, made the appropriate decision about their model mine and have supported their decision in an understandable and appropriate manner.
  • The grading of this activity should be based on the appropriateness of the response and demonstrated understanding of the lab.

 

 

Mining Activity Worksheet Name: _______________

(One per person or group) Date: ________________

Class: _______________

Group: _______________

  1. What type of mine do you have? ___________________
  2. Record the mass of the various materials in the chart below:

     

    Total Mass Of Overburden Moved.

    Record This Answer In Grams.

    Total Mass Of Resource Recovered. Record This Answer In Grams.

    Total Mass Of Material Moved. Record This Answer In Grams.

    Add The First Two Columns.

  3. Divide the total mass of the material moved into the mass of the resource recovered: (Your answer should be a decimal less than one).

    Answer: ____________________________

    Multiply this answer by 100. Answer: ________________________

    Your answer will be the percentage of useable resource: ____________%.

    To make a profit, you must recover

    * more than 8.5% for the coal mine

    * more than 75% for crushed stone or sand and gravel

    Even though it is not often considered, for a business to continue, it must make a profit. If your mine met the stated percentage then you may stay in business for only a short period of time. If you exceeded the stated percentage you will likely continue in business. This is advantageous for you and the people who depend on you to make a living.

  4. Is your mine likely to make a profit? __________________
  5. In three to four sentences, explain how you reached the decision for your answer in number 4.
  6. How did you reclaim the land? Describe an appropriate use for the mine site.

In a real mining operation, the cost of reclaiming the land is part of their consideration. If you had to consider the cost of reclaiming your mine site, do you think it would it have changed the ability of your mine to make a profit?

 

Teacher Preparation for Activity #4

DIRECTIONS FOR STUDENTS:

Mining in Maryland is important for two major reasons. It assures an ample supply of construction materials and has a direct economic impact on the state and local inhabitants.

In this activity, you will model the recovery of different usable resources. The methods used are somewhat dependent on the resources being recovered. You will be expected to deal with some of the issues that confront mining companies.

There are three types of resources represented in this modeling activity. These resources are commonly mined in Maryland. They include coal, crushable stone, and sand and gravel.

You will be assigned to a mine model based upon your assigned research group. The "Coal" research group will mine for "coal", the "Crushed Rock" research group will mine for crushable rock, and so on.

You will need to record information and restore the land in your model.

MATERIALS: (for groups of about 3 students):

  • 1 large tray containing the mine model
  • 2-3 sizes of spoons (shovels)
  • Pan   Balance
  • Sifters (metal colanders, small sifting devices, or some type of screen sifter)
  • 4 – 5 containers (100 – 1000 ml; more containers may be permitted).

Be sure to read all directions and information before you begin the lab.

PROCEDURE:

In this activity, you will model procedures that occur in a real mining operation. You will find the mass of overburden you have removed. This information will be used later. You will also have to record the mass of the resource recovered. A comparison of these two amounts will be part of your lab evaluation.

You will use the tools provided to work at the mine site, sift out the materials you want to keep, record the necessary information then reclaim the mine site for future generations to use. This must be accomplished within the time limits established by the teacher.

 

Exploration

Teacher Preparation for Activity #6, Acid Mine Drainage Demonstration

One environmental problem caused by mining is the production of Acid Drainage. Under certain circumstances, the water that runs through a mining area may pick up chemicals that cause it to become acidic. Because of the clean water rules that currently exist, this acidic water must be treated before it can be release into the environment. In one coal mine in Maryland, this quantity of water amounts to about eleven million gallons of water per day. Any type of mine could produce acid mine drainage if the right situation exists.

In this activity, the teacher is asked to demonstrate a method that will reduce the acid level of a fluid. Though it is possible to make extensive alterations to this demonstration, it is better to keep it simple.

The following suggestion is recommended for demonstrating acid reduction in a fluid.

  1. Use a 200 to 250 ml beaker of white vinegar as your fluid.
  2. Use some simple material as a base to neutralize the acid (antacid tablets, such as Rolaidsã , or pulverized limestone is acceptable)

To save demonstration time, the teacher will need to rehearse this activity in advance to avoid using too little or too much base for the neutralization demonstration. The use of a pH meter or litmus paper will suffice to demonstrate the neutrality of the fluid.

After the teacher has completed the demonstration, a short discussion on the hazards of acidic water and what it could do to the environment should follow.

  1. The students should realize that acid mine drainage is not the problem it once was. Even though there is still some acid mine drainage from mines that were abandoned years ago, mining companies realize the importance of keeping water discharge clean and safe.
  2. Acid drainage can occur from areas that have never been mined. The chemistry of the ground exposed to the air (limestone caves for example) or decay of certain types of organic material can create acidity.

 

Exploration

Teacher Preparation for Activity # 8, Sedimentation Demonstration

The control of sediments in the runoff water from mining sites is another environmental concern relating to the mining industry in Maryland. Sedimentation is a concern because of its effect on a waterway, the life within that waterway, and its ultimate effect on the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Restricting sedimentation to the mine site is not difficult. It requires time and land. The usual method is to construct a series of settling basins in which the water quietly moves from one end to the other, allowing the heavy materials to settle out. Periodically, the basin is drained, cleaned out, and reused. In a few locations, a chemical called a flocculent is added to speed up the settling rate.

In this demonstration, the teacher uses simple methods to demonstrate the effectiveness of the settling basin concept. Clay or mud can be used to produce muddy water. The muddy water is poured into two clear glass containers. One is set aside to settle. The second is stirred every two or three minutes to keep it muddy. The clarity of the settled water is compared to that of the muddy water.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

  1. Why is the settled water more clear?
  2. What could be done to make it clearer?

 

Use teacher-led discussions or student brainstorming sessions to answer these questions or similar questions. The teacher may also add different types of filtering materials to the demonstration. Materials such as filter paper, paper towels, or open tubes with sand inside (Water is poured into the raised end of a tube and collected at the other end after it has passed through the sand.) may be used. Other filtering materials may be used at the teacher’s discretion.

 

Extension

Teacher Preparation for Activity #10, Creating The Pamphlet

DIRECTIONS TO READ TO THE STUDENTS:

Now that you have collected and organized information, performed a laboratory simulation, and analyzed several demonstrations, you are ready to prepare a summary of your findings. The information you have been collecting is now going to be collated into a pamphlet that can be presented to the public. The pamphlet will have three sections: Coal Mining, Crushed Rock Mining, and Sand and Gravel Mining. You are to work in your home groups to create your part of the pamphlet. You will also need to coordinate efforts with the other two groups to create an organized pamphlet with three themes. The group members will select the method for creating the pamphlet.

The pamphlet will form the basis of the your evaluation. The evaluation will take into consideration the information contained in the pamphlet and the overall presentation.

WRITING TO INFORM PROMPT:

Teachers should start the research activity with a Writing to Inform Prompt. The following is included as a suggestion.

Today you are writing to inform. When you write to inform, you are sharing what you know about a topic or subject with another person. When you write to inform you want to do the following:

  • Think about what the person you are writing to already knows about the topic or subject.
  • Think about what the person you are writing to needs to learn about the subject.
  • Put your information in a logical order.

Use examples, definitions, and descriptions to make the information clear to your reader.

CREATING THE PAMPHLET:

The activities of the previous days have provided students with the resource information for this activity. They will collate the information into a pamphlet that can be presented to the public. The pamphlet will have three parts: Coal Mining, Crushed Rock Mining, and Sand and Gravel Mining. Students are to work in their home groups to create their part of the pamphlet. They also will need to co-ordinate their efforts with the other two groups to create an overall pleasing presentation of one pamphlet with three themes. The methods of creating the pamphlet depend the students, their abilities, and the materials available.

The pamphlet will form the basis of the students’ evaluation. The evaluation will take into consideration the information contained in the pamphlet and the overall presentation of that information.

There are people in the mining industry that would be willing to evaluate the pamphlet from the industry’s perspective. The teacher may wish to contact one of these people (contact the Maryland Mining Association) and submit the pamphlets for the industry’s review and comments.

THE PAMPLET MAY BE EVALUATED USING THE FOLLOWING KEY:

Level 4

There is evidence that the student fully understands mining techniques, the economic advantages, and the environmental impact of the mining industry and effectively communicates the information in their pamphlet.

Level 3

There is evidence that the student moderately understands mining techniques, the economic advantages, and the environmental impact of the mining industry and moderately communicates the information in their pamphlet.

Level 2

There is evidence that the student minimally understands mining techniques, the economic advantages, and the environmental impact of the mining industry and minimally communicates the information in their pamphlet.

Level 1

There is evidence that the student partially understands mining techniques, the economic advantages, and the environmental impact of the mining industry and ineffectively communicates the information in their pamphlet.

Level 0

There is no evidence of the ability to communicate information or of an understanding of mining techniques, the economic advantages, and the environmental impact of the mining industry.

 

Teacher Resources

Maryland Coal, A "Mission Critical" Resource For One Maryland, Maryland Coal Association, 1999 (Booklet)

Gunther, Chris, What is a Quarry? Materials for Building Our World, LaFarge Corporation, (Coloring Book)

Common Ground, Modern Mining and You, Caterpillar (Teacher Packet – includes videotape)

Go Kit, Mineral Information Institute, Colorado (Contact: Jackie Evanger 303/297-3226)

Facts About Coal, National Mining Association, 1997-1998 (202/463-2640) (Booklet)

Facts About Minerals, National Mining Association, 1997-1998 (202/463-2640) (Booklet)

National Mining Association, www.nma.org, (202/463-2640)

Campbell, Kelly, The Aggregate Family Newsletter, National Stone Association

Aggregates, Nature’s Building Blocks, National Energy Foundation, Resources for Education, 5225 Wiley Post Way Suite 170, Salt Lake City, UT 84116 (801/539-1406)

The Sourcebook, The Maryland Aggregates Association Membership Directory 1999-2000, mdaggregates@mindspring.org

 

Related Web sites:

http://www.metmagazine.com/

http://www.aggman.com/Pages/Agg%200699/People0699.html

http://www.mtnswest.com/ores/geology/mine/news.htm

http://www.amer-geo.com/links.htm

http://www.osmre.gov/order1.htm

http://staging.mde.state.md.us/programs/water

http://www.tu-clausthal.de/ibb/ibbcp/openpit.html

http://nesen.unl.edu/activities/geology/muffin.html

http://science.coe.uwf.edu/GP/mine.htm

http://www.coal.ca/coalmined.htm

http://imcg.wr.usgs.gov/usbmak/thisis.html

 

 

 

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