What is that rock worth?? This experiment demonstrates how mineralogists and mining engineers determine the economic value of ore bodies, using sample drill cores. The core samples in this kit MAY contain iron (as the minerals magnetite, hematite, and limonite), as well as other non-ore minerals (like quartz, feldspar, gneiss, and limestone), which come from the rock in which the ore body was found. The drill core samples in this kit are from Virginia and North Carolina. The actual percentages of iron ore listed in Table 2 were determined by an actual geologist. After completing a series of steps listed on the accompanying student guide, students should be able to determine the density and percentage of iron (Fe), and ultimately, the market value of the ore body within their core samples. This lab activity combines framework concepts from earth and space science as well as physical science. Students are exposed to Framework concept ESS2 (Earth’s Systems) and PS1 (Matter and its interactions).
This kit has been aligned with all published National Standards. Pre- and Post-laboratory assessments and vocabulary words all target specific Science and Engineering Practices and common core standards. The teacher guide also contains specific “Did You Know” concepts that link the real world with the scientific standards explored. A student copymaster is also included.
This activity can be completed in approximately one 45 minute class period.