Edufy

Activity Details
Edufy

Details

Objective

 

Students will learn

  • That every segment of society uses minerals or a product of mineral resources everyday
  • That the roads on which we drive and the buildings in which we live, learn, and work all contain minerals
  • Of the importance of minerals to our economy and environment by understanding how commonly used metallic and nonmetallic minerals, ore minerals, mineral byproducts, and rock types are used to make products we use in our daily lives

Materials

 

  • Blank Flash cards, for you to research and fill in

 

Procedure

 

  • At the top of each Flash card, write the name of the assigned mineral or commodity.
  • Answer the questions, which are listed on FLASH CARD1 for  each of the minerals or commodities assigned to you:

Extensions

 

FLASH CARD2

Assigned mineral or commodity:

 

 

Q1.What is the domestic (United States) production of this resource?

 

 

 

 

Q2.How much does the United States consume on a yearly basis?

 

 

 

Q3.How much does the United States import on a yearly basis?

 

 

 

 

Q4.What is the current world distribution of the resource? (major countries producing the resource)

 

 

 

 

Q5.What is the current market price of this resource? Has the market price changed over time?

 

 

 

 

 

Q6.Can this mineral be recycled?

 

 

 

 

 

Q7.What is the Source of your information?

 

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

FLASH CARD1

Assigned mineral or commodity:

 

 

Q1.What is the chemical composition of the resource?

 

 

 

 

Q2.What is the source of the mineral/commodity?

 

 

 

 

Q3.How is it obtained (mined)?

 

 

 

 

Q4.Where is it mined, and is it mined in your state?

 

 

 

 

Q5.What are two uses for this resource?

(a):

 

 

(b):

 

 

Q6.What is the Source of your information?

 

 

 

 

Teacher Notes

 

Tips and Tricks:

Background

  • The process of finding or exploring for a mineral deposit, extracting or mining the resource, recovering the resource, also known as beneficiation, and reclaiming the land mined can be described as the “life cycle” of a mineral deposit.
  • Mineral deposits are the source of many important commodities, such as copper and gold, used by our society, but it is important to realize that mineral deposits are a nonrenewable resource. Once mined, they are exhausted, and another source must be found. New mineral deposits are being continuously created by the Earth but may take millions of years to form.
  • Mineral deposits differ from renewable resources, such as agricultural and timber products, which may be replenished within a few months to several years.
  • The technical definition of a mineral is a naturally occurring, inorganic, homogeneous solid with a definite chemical composition and an ordered atomic arrangement. In more general terms, a mineral is a substance that is:
    (1) made of a single element like gold (Au) or a compound of elements like salt (NaCl) and/ or
    (2) a building block of rock (for example, granite is composed primarily of the minerals quartz and feldspar).
  • Minerals may be metallic, like gold, or nonmetallic, such as talc.
  • Oil, natural gas, and coal are generally considered to be “energy minerals” and are not discussed in this report.
  • A mineral deposit is a mineral occurrence of sufficient size and grade (concentration) to enable extraction under the most favorable conditions.
  • Two cycles determine how mineral deposits are formed— the ROCK CYCLE and the TECTONIC CYCLE.
  • Heat from the Earth’s interior melts some of the rocks in the crust (the upper part of the lithosphere).
  • Molten rocks lower in density than the surrounding cooler material rise toward the Earth’s surface and eventually cool and harden near to or on the surface.
  • The composition, temperature, pressure, and cooling process of the molten material determine the minerals and rock types formed.
  • These are called IGNEOUS ROCKS and contain original or primary minerals.
  • When these rocks are subjected to chemical and physical processes, such as freezing and thawing, they break apart into smaller fragments forming sediments.
  • These smaller particles that compose the sediments can be physically transported and re-deposited by gravity, water, and wind.
  • If the re-deposited particles are bound together by compaction or cementation (formation of new secondary minerals in the spaces between the loose particles), SEDIMENTARY ROCKS are formed.
  • In regions where the Earth’s interior temperature and pressure are high enough to change the chemical composition and mineralogy of buried igneous or sedimentary rocks, without completely melting them, METAMORPHIC ROCKS are formed.
  • Distinct groups or assemblages of minerals are typically associated with the formation of each of the three major rock types—igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.
  • PLATE TECTONICS play a major role in the processes of mineral and rock formation.
  • In geologic terms, a plate is a large, “rigid” slab of solid rock.
  • The word tectonics comes from the Greek root “to build.”
  • The term plate tectonics refers to the process by which the Earth’s crust is formed and moved.
  • The theory of plate tectonics states that the Earth’s outermost layer, the crust, is fragmented into a dozen or more plates of various sizes that are moving relative to one another as they are slowly transported on top of and by hotter, more mobile material (Kious and Tilling, 1996).
  • Scientists now have a fairly good understanding of how the plates move and how earthquake activity relates to such movement.
  • Most movement occurs along narrow zones between plates where the effects of tectonic forces are most evident.

There are four types of plate boundaries:

  • Divergent boundaries—where new crust is generated as the plates pull away from each other.
  • Convergent boundaries—where crust is destroyed as one plate dives under another.
  • Transform boundaries—where crust is neither produced nor destroyed as the plates slide horizontally past each other.
  • Plate boundary zones—broad belts in which boundaries are not well defined and the effects of plate interaction are unclear (Kious and Tilling, 1996).

Hands-On Activities

  • This activity is one of a set of activities designed to educate students about geology, plate tectonics, and mineral resources and how mineral resources are found, extracted, processed, and used.
  • These activities are suited for the entire K-12 grade level range, but some may be best suited for the 5-8 or 9-12 grade levels (table 3). The activities are as follows:

Basic Geology—Concepts

Exploring for Minerals

Extracting Minerals

Uses of Minerals

Mineral Resources and Economics

Pre-activity preparation

  • Use one Flash card (5 x 7 inch) per mineral or commodity.
  • Randomly assign 1 to 5 minerals per student depending on the assignment.
  • Two types of Flash cards are recommended:
    - Flash Card1: (See Question section) To be used for Grades 5 to 12.  The information relates to the chemical composition and source of the mineral resource.
    - Flash Card2: (See Extension section) To be used for Grades 9 to 12.  The information relates to the economics of mining and producing the mineral resource.
  • Refer to appendix 2, Minerals and Their Uses Pgs. 32 to 34 (38 to 40 of 40) of Teachers’ Guide:http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/2005/17/gip-17.pdf  for selecting the minerals or commodities for the Flash cards.

Evaluation and Discussion:

  • Each student (Flash cards can be also assigned to a group of students) should think about and answer the questions and be able to present the information to the class.
  • You can also have students write an essay based on what they have learned about the assigned commodities.
  • Examples of completed cards are shown in Figure 5 (Pgs. 20 & 21 (26 & 27 of 40) of Teachers’ Guide:http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/2005/17/gip-17.pdf.  The completed examples are reproduced below:

Sample: filled in FLASH CARD1

Assigned mineral or commodity:CADMIUM

 

Q1.What is the chemical composition of the resource? Symbol Cd.

 

Q2.What is the source of the mineral/commodity? Ore mineral, Greenockite CdS, and Sphalerite (Zn,Cd)S. Cadium is associated with zinc deposits. Sphalerite is found almost entirely in hydrothermal deposits. “Sedimentary exhalative (sedex) deposits consist of layers of lead-zinc-iron sulfide that were precipitated by submarine hot springs that flowed into basins filled with fine-grained, clastic sediments” (Kesler, 1994, p. 215).

 

Q3.How is it obtained (mined)? Extracted as a byproduct of the mining and processing of zinc ores. “Primary cadmium metal in the United States is produced by two companies, one in Illinois and one in Tennessee, as a byproduct of smelting and refining of zinc metals from sulfide ore concentrates” (USGS, 2005a).

 

Q4.Where is it mined, and is it mined in your state? Cadmium is refined in 27 countries. The United States is the world’s second largest refiner.

 

Q5.What are two uses for this resource?

(a): Seventy-five percent of the cadium consumed goes into nickel cadium (NiCd) batteries.

(b): Twelve percent of the cadium consumed is used as pigments for glass, plastics, and paints.

 

Q6.What is the Source of your information? Kesler, 1994; Butterman and Plachy, 2004.

 

Sample: filled in FLASH CARD2

Assigned mineral or commodity:CADMIUM

 

Q1.What is the domestic (United States) production of this resource? 700 metric tons (2002 data).

 

Q2.How much does the United States consume on a yearly basis? 2,250 metric tons (2002 data). The United States is the third largest world consumer of cadmium.

 

Q3.How much does the United States import on a yearly basis? 25 metric tons (2002 data).

 

Q4.What is the current world distribution of the resource? (major countries producing the resource) Refined in 27 countries.

 

Q5.What is the current market price of this resource? Has the market price changed over time?

 CURRENT MARKET VALUE: $639.00/metric ton (2002 data).

 

Q6.Can this mineral be recycled? In the United States the recycling of NiCd batteries provides a source of secondary cadmium (Plachy, 2003).

 

Q7.What is the Source of your information? Kesler, 1994; Kelley and others, 2004; Plachy, 2003; USGS, 2004 and 2005a.

Information

 

Additional Resources:

  • Barthelmy, David, 2005, Mineralogy Database:
    http://webmineral.com/index.shtml
    This mineral database contains 4,442 individual mineral species descriptions with links and a comprehensive image library.
  • Winter, Mark, 2005, WebElementsTMPeriodic Table:
    http://www.webelements.com/
  • Kesler, S.E., 1994, Mineral resources, economics, and the environment: New York, N.Y., MacMillan College Publishing Company, 391 p.
  • U.S. Geological Survey, 2005a, Minerals Information:
    http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/

References

 

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