Cookie mining

Cookie mining is a fun activity that might get you thinking about what it take to mine for minerals in the Earth’s crust. Can you extract the minerals without making a mess or destroying the materials around it?

What you need:

  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper plates

Before you start:
The earth’s crust is made up of soil, rocks and minerals. Rocks are made up of a combination of different minerals. Rocks are also mined to find minerals. Taking care of the earth is very important. When we mine for precious stones and minerals, we do not want to harm the earth around the rocks. In this activity, you will be a miner for precious gems. Your cookie is the earth and the chips are gemstones.

What to do:

  1. Place a chocolate chip cookie on a paper plate.
  2. Use a toothpick like a real pick to mine the chocolate chips out of the cookie.
  3. See how many chips you can poke out of the cookie and still keep it in one piece. Be careful not to break the cookie. How many chips were you able to mine?
  4. After you’ve finished mining your cookie, you can eat it.

What’s the Science?
Mining is the extraction of minerals or rocks from the earth. The minerals that are recovered from the earth through mining include silver, copper, salt, petroleum, gold, and lead. Some of the rocks include coal, diamonds, granite, marble, and emeralds. These materials can be used to make many different things. Some examples include coal, which is used as a fuel, copper which is used in electrical conductors, and lead which is used in making car batteries.

1 reply
  1. Jason
    Jason says:

    I do this experiment in my classroom when we talk about natural resources. To add another dimension, after students completely finish mining out their cookies, I explain that afterwards, the mining companies have to try and put back the environment like it was. They have to try and return their cookie to the “undisturbed state”. Really drives home the environmental issues.


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