One of Nico's projects in 4-H this year is geology. What a great way to incorporate it in our school year! We are using Intelligo Unit Study: Soils, Rocks, Minerals, and Fossils for this study. I have always loved Intelligo's Unit Studys and had forgotten about them until I did a search.
Anyway, one of the units is on minerals. Many of the links within the unit study are from USGS (US Geological Survey). I was so excited to find this link USGS Life Cycle of a Mineral Deposit. (oh, and it's FREE). It has a short reading and then about 10 hands on acitivities. Some included are orange plate tectonics, peanut butter and jelly crust, cupcake core drilling, making your own toothpaste, and chocolate chip cookie mining. We completed the plate tectonics and peanut butter and jelly crust last week. Today we did the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mining. The boys absolutley loved it! I couldn't believe even Luca (5yo) got into it. They love watching Gold Rush with Mike so we related some of the things to the TV show for better understanding.
Here are some pictures.
Nico's final analysis was that we should have weighed the chips (gold) vs just counting the chips. One cookie that was easier to mine had larger 'nuggets', but fewer, while the other cookies had more 'nuggets', but a lot smaller in size. I thought it was a great analysis on his part.
Of course, the favorite part was eating the cookies. My least favorite part is now I have three bags of cookies left over. ;-)