Students from Vista Peak welcomed SOLE staff for a fun exploration into the history and impact of Colorado mining on Valentine’s Day by enthusiastically diving into hands-on activities. The time was filled with realizations and discoveries about the world around us as well as the history of mining.
Do you know where the materials for all the everyday objects around you came from? Students were challenged to identify what some mined resources were used to make some daily use objects. First, they had to match with each other. Then as pairs, they attempted to think of something in the room that was made of the same resource! The gold and silver medals were a big hit with the Olympics running right now, but most were surprised that both metals are also used in computers and phones. It’s mind-boggling to realize how much we rely on things that come out of the ground in one form and were made into every day objects.
The most delightful part of the Cookie Mining program is right in the name, of course. Cookies! Everyone was eager to dig in to mining for chocolate chips or an imagined resource. Toothpicks were poked into and around chips, crumbs scattered in every directions, and quiet celebrations were heard whenever a new resource was successfully extracted.
When it came time to review the mining process, students were surprised at how much land could be affected by mining for resources. Attempting to put the land (cookie crumbs) back together proved difficult. Everyone started to see how important it is to decide what resources matter most and how we make complex decisions, since we value both what is below the ground and what is above it. To finish the day, everyone got a chance to eat a new cookie as a reward for being such great miners and listeners.