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


Safety note: We NEVER put ANY scientific experiment in our mouths.

  1. Lay down a sheet of newspaper or paper towel on your desk for easy clean-up.
  2. Obtain 2 cookies and 1 bent paper clip per person from your teacher.
  3. For the first cookie, you will remove the chips without considering the damage you do to the cookie. Using only the paper clip, get as many chips out as you can.

    Do not break the chips into smaller pieces after they have been mined.

    Note: Do not throw away or drop any of your cookie. We will be analyzing it.
  4. When everyone is ready, a timer will be set for 2 minutes. You will dig out the chips without regard to the cookie "environment."
  5. When the timer sounds, put down your paper clip.
  6. Count the number of chips you got out of the "mine". Record your results in the table below.
  7. Count the number of large chunks of cookie that are on your desk (the damage you caused to the environment). Record in the table below.cookie mining lab science project
  8. Find out how much you earned and how much you lost by filling out this table:

Cookie number

Number of chips you got out of the cookie.

Multiply by $1,000 for each chip to calculate your earnings.

Earnings from mining chips.

Number of cookie chunks (environmental damage).

Multiply by $200 for every chunk.

Losses from damaging the environment.

1 - Do some damage!

X $1,000 =


X $200 =


2 - Be careful!

X $1,000 =


X $200 =


  1. Throw away your first cookie after you finish. DO NOT EAT IT.
  2. For Cookie #2, use your paper clip to carefully dig out each chip. Try not to break off any of the cookie surrounding the chips.
  3. When everyone is ready, a timer will be set for 2 minutes. When the timer sounds, put down your paper clip.
  4. Record your results in the second row of the table, just like you did with the first cookie. cookie mining lab science project - part 2
  5. Throw away your cookie. DO NOT EAT IT.
  6. Clean up your desk or table by throwing away the newspaper and cookie. Put the paper clip back in the box.


For Cookie #1, take box A in the table and subtract box B from it.

A = $___________ - B $___________ = $___________________ profit for cookie 1

For Cookie #2, take box C and subtract box D from it.

C = $___________ - D $___________ = $___________________ profit for cookie 2

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    Complexity level:
    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.