2012-11-13 / Front Page

Cloverdale Elementary Teachers Attend Three-Day Natural Resources Workshop


Students created their own unique toothpaste using a variety of different flavors. The winning toothpaste was named Banana Crème Delight. Students pictured above are, left to right: Lindsey Minton, Josh Allen, Ashlee Cumbee and Michaela Nees. (Courtesy Photo) Students created their own unique toothpaste using a variety of different flavors. The winning toothpaste was named Banana Crème Delight. Students pictured above are, left to right: Lindsey Minton, Josh Allen, Ashlee Cumbee and Michaela Nees. (Courtesy Photo) With the Martin Marietta Aggregates Quarry located right in Cloverdale Elementary School’s neighborhood, fourth grade teachers, Mrs. Bookwalter and Mrs. Kemp, decided to attend a threeday workshop this summer, sponsored by Indiana Mineral Aggregates Association. Their goal was to gather information for both their Science and Social Studies classes regarding Indiana’s natural resources and how they play a part in our local economy. After learning about all aspects of the mining industry, touring several quarries, and actually operating some heavy equipment, they returned to school with a plan to present a two week unit to their students.

In Science, students were able to demonstrate how heat and pressure can change rock by making “metamorphic sandwiches”. Students used their observation and classifying skills to tell the difference between rocks and minerals. They then took the activity further by using the scientific method to become “mineral detectives”, and learn about the properties of minerals. Students analyzed their mineral specimens and used industry standards like the Moh’s Hardness Scale to hardness value their samples and the streak test to determine the true color of the mineral.

Students learned that many of the products they use every day, including toothpaste, are made from rocks and minerals. Students used the minerals calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate to create their own toothpaste. Students were divided into groups to produce one marketable toothpaste recipe. These were judged on color and flavor. The students then developed an advertising campaign which included a slogan, jingle, rap, or song that would help sell their product.

In Social Studies, students learned how vital the mining and aggregate industry is to Indiana’s economy. Students became acquainted with the career opportunities related to minerals and mining such as geologists, crusher operators, blasters, environmental managers, and many more. Descriptions of mining related jobs were placed up and down the 4th grade hall. Students were given a set of clues describing the interests and skills needed for a career. Students had to then match the clues to a specific mining related career.

In the birdseed mining activity, students learned that mining can be very complex. Student groups came up with a name for their mining operation and designated one student to be the company controller/ accountant. They then had to “bid” on a mine. Once the mine was purchased, they learned about the rules and regulations that need to be followed. Teachers in the role of MSHA officials (Mine Safety and Health Administration) handed out fines for “unsafe” mining practices. Students learned about scarcity of certain natural resources in different areas mined and mineral depletion. They also learned how to calculate the value of the resources found and the profit they made after expenses. It was a lesson also on how the mining industry ensures that it is a good steward of the land and how it has a plan to restore mining areas to their original or better condition when done.

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