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Cookie mining lab - Understanding why we should protect our environment from damage caused by miningFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

As environmental science students, we need to learn the importance of minimizing the impact of our actions on the world around us. Did you know that when miners drill into or strip the earth to obtain ore or fossil fuels, they can cause great environmental harm? In this science project, we will be operating our own "mine" to understand how mining can damage our environment . We will be mining "coal" in the form of chocolate chips from your cookie using a paper clip.

Hypothesis

Based on what you read, do you think miners earn more money if they protect the environment by mining carefully, or if they harm the environment by mining quickly?

Objective

The learning objectives for this science project are to (1) describe a basic mining process using the cookie as a model (2) explain whether you can protect the environment while mining and (3) Explain how money and environmental protection play roles in the mining process

Scientific Terms

Mining, Pollution, Biodiversity, fossil fuels

Background

IntroductionA lot of mining occurs in heavily forested areas such as the Amazon rainforest. These mining operations can release dangerous toxins such as poisonous cyanide or mercury into the environment. These poisons can enter the water supply and kill local fish. If people eat the polluted fish, they can get sick or even die.

Mining can cause deforestation. This happens when a forest is removed so miners can get to the minerals beneath the surface. Trees and plants are also removed to make space for the roads associated with the mine. Pollution is also a problem at mines because the mines release dust and toxic gas into the air. Air, land and water resources can be poisoned by this pollution.

Biodiversity is also threatened by mines. This means that the number and type of animals and plants in an area is decreased because the species are killed. Even aquatic life such as underwater plants and fish can suffer from mining pollution.

We continue to mine so we can support industry and provide fossil fuels for our cars.

Mining can be safer and more environmentally friendly, but these changes can be expensive.

#HYPOTHESIS:

Based on what you read, do you think miners earn more money if they protect the environment by mining carefully, or if they harm the environment by mining quickly?

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    Complexity level:
    7
    Project cost ($):
    Time required:
    Material availability:
    Easily purchased at a grocery store. You probably will find most of what you need for this experiment in your kitchen.
    Safety concerns:
    Be careful when handling the paper clip or any other sharp objects.