"Mining an Ore"
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Teresa Granito Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
Chicago IL 60625
The high school students will be able to:
1. calculate percentages
2. read chemical formulas
3. determine the molar mass of a compound
4. differentiate between an ore and a mineral
5. calculate the percent composition of a mineral in an ore
6. determine which ore has the greatest percentage of mineral
7. do a Performance Assessment activity to demonstrate mastery
1. "ore" = two brands of chocolate chip cookies (2 per lab group)
2. "mining tools" = paper clip, forceps, etc.
4. periodic table
Part I (calculating percentages)
Remove a "precious mineral" from an "ore". The "ore" will be the chocolate chip
cookie and the "mineral" will be the chocolate chips. The object is to
determine which "ore" has the greatest percentage of "mineral".
1. find the mass of a cookie
2. separate chips from cookie using "mining tools"
3. find mass of chips
4. determine the percentage of chips in the cookie:
mass of chips
mass of cookie x 100% = percent of chips in cookie
5. repeat with second cookie
6. compare results
Part II (percent composition of an ore)
1. chemical formula
2. molar mass
3. mass number
4. periodic table of elements
Do some example problems with students:
5. What is the percent composition of Ag in AgS?
Ag = 1 x 108g = 108g 108gAg
S = 1 x 32g = 32g 140gAgS x 100 = 77% Ag in AgS
ORE MASS OF MASS OF PERCENT OF PERCENT OF
ORE MINERAL MINERAL WASTE
Because of your superior mining ability you have been awarded your choice
of one of two mining locations. One site, located in Mexico, is rich in
Chalcopyrite (CuFeS2). The other site, located in Russia, is rich in
Which location would you choose to mine? Explain all aspects of your
For 6 points: The response is exemplary.
- an explanation that is complete
- molar masses and percent composition calculated precisely
- all aspects of decision looked at completely
- more than one explanation that is complete and correct
- well thought out answer
For 5 points: The calculations are correct and the response is clear. Not
all aspects taken into consideration.
For 4 points: The calculations are correct, but the explanation lacks
For 3 points: The response indicates a partial solution. Perhaps the molar
masses are correct, but the percentages are done incorrectly,
or vise versa.
For 2 points: The response indicates a partial solution. Or, the response
indicates the student may understand the solution, but the
explanation is incoherent.
For 1 point: The response is incorrect, but it shows evidence of
mathematical and logical reasoning. A mathematical explanation
is developed. The explanation, however, does not address the
crux of the problem or the essence of the solution.
For 0 points: The student leaves a blank page or writes, "I don't Know."