Nevada’s mining industry is always looking for creative ways to teach our kids about the role mining raw materials plays in building our modern society. One method recently utilized to teach the students of Dr. Kurtak’s geology class at Round Mountain High School is particularly creative and informative. It’s also one of the most tasty; he uses chocolate chip cookies to illustrate the extraction of precious metals.
First, students are given a stack of three cookies of five different brands packaged in aluminum foil. They are then given an “exploration budget” to take drill cores and estimate the resource present.
After deciding which “deposit” to buy, they purchase equipment, mine and do reclamation. After selling their chocolate, they have to meet their payroll, pay their debts and possibly a fine for less-than-perfect reclamation. To finish, they face a last-minute price change in chocolate decided by a roll of dice.
Taking a childhood favorite snack-time choice and turning it into a real-life lesson on how mining works – now that’s innovative. Well done, Dr. Kurtak.