Minerals Education Workshop @ Rose-Hulman, Sept. 25-26

Minerals Education Workshop @ Rose-Hulman, Sept. 25-26

de Ryan Smith -
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Educators interested in teaching about the timely subjects of mining, reclamation, energy, mineral and rock identification and related subjects can learn how at the DNR Division of Reclamation's 9th annual Minerals Education Workshop for Educators, Sept. 25-26.

This free workshop will be held at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute and surrounding coal mines and will provide both classroom lessons and materials to attendees.

The first day consists of hands-on sessions. The second day consists of two tours of coal mines that use different mining methods.

Seating for this workshop is limited to the first 50 registrants. To register or get more information, please contact DNR Division of Reclamation staff members Shasta Keller, slkeller@dnr.IN.gov; or Colleen Baughman, cbaughman@dnr.IN.gov, (812) 665-2207.

First-day sessions allow educators to become the students. Activities include mineral and rock identification. Teachers are provided with mineral and rock kits then walked through steps to test for properties. In "Chocolate Chip Cookie Mining," they mine for chips that represent coal, then attempt to “reclaim” their cookie, which represents land. Cost analyses, including profit and loss, are taught.

In "Paste with a Taste," participants create their own toothpaste from minerals, colorings, and flavorings, then name their paste and create a marketing advertisement or jingle.

Other first-day sessions include "Birdseed Mining and Reclamation," where different-colored beads representing a choice of minerals and coal are “mined” out of the birdseed, teaching participants about the many state rules and regulations for mining and reclamation.

"Orebody Battleship" teaches about exploration, core drilling and costs. Participants will use colored play-doh to hide ore deposits between a top and bottom layer, then map their reserves. The creations will be traded with another group then everyone “drills,” hoping to find the ore. The Illinois Office of Mines and Minerals exhibit trailer known as the “Rock Box” is showcased by tours. Participants also will learn how to make some rock and mineral displays, and play a Jeopardy-type quiz game.

The second day consists of tours to two active surface coal mines. Participants get to see real-life examples of lessons they learned the first day as well as viewing the mining processes from beginning to end.