Who wants what, when and why? bESTology Week 6

Published by rrfenton on

Who wants what, when and why?  bESTology Week 6 

Image: steelwedge.com

Image: steelwedge.com

Knowing where the commodity is and how to get it out of the ground is only part of the equation.  As we continue to excavate Pay Dirt, let’s unearth the concept of supply and demand. 

Before a company mines a specific commodity, they need to determine who will buy it and how much the buyer will want or need. The mining industry relies heavily on calculating the correct amount of supply they will need to meet the demand.  And often the demand relies heavily on marketing and advertising of the product/commodity to raise awareness of its existence and use.

As we bore into the concept of supply and demand, our bESTology commodities will be coal, lithium, gold, copper and salt.


Data Mining:  Construct a chart placing each of the following as a column heading:

  • What is the cost to mine the commodity?
  • What is the cost to transport the commodity to the buyer?
  • What is the cost to market/advertise the commodity?
  • How much of a profit is desired?
  • Who are the potential customers of the commodity?
  • What happens if there is a shortage of mined material?
  • What happens if there is a surplus of mined material?

Next, incorporate each of the commodities as a row (coal, lithium, gold, copper, salt). You will end up with 35 cells/boxes for information. Discuss and summarize answers for each commodity to complete the chart.  Include the concept of supply and demand into your dialog and answers.

Bonus:  Predict whether the demand will increase or decrease for each commodity over the next ten years and explain why.

Writing:  Following the advice listed in the resource materials of David Ogilvy, develop a written one-page advertisement for one of the commodities: coal, lithium, gold, copper or salt. The advertisement should target businesses and industries that will use the commodity to develop consumer products, i.e. coal to make steel for cars, copper for electrical wiring.  Incorporate a minimum of five ideas from David Ogilvy’s paper.  Show your advertisement to your class or family. 

Challenge: Identify the nearest college or university that offers a degree in business or marketing.

BEST Connection: Recalling Bladerunner 2014 and using the concept of supply and demand, hypothesize whether an investor would pay more for a robot transporting Texas Prairie chickens or a robot transporting wind turbine components? Explain the factors contributing to your educated guess.

Not knowing the details of Pay Dirt, imagine the following bESTology commodities are in abundance on the playing field: coal, lithium, gold, copper and salt.  Research the current value of each, their availability (supply) and demand. If your robot could only mine one commodity, justify which one it would be and why?  

Community Connection:  Collect as many local publications as possible, i.e. newspapers, magazines.  Compare, contrast and analyze the ads and deduce the following:

  • What products are in high demand in your community? 
  • Is there a surplus of specific types of businesses in your community? 
  • Which companies are closing their doors and why?  Has advancement in technology played a role in their closure?
  • Why are certain products no longer needed?  Did governmental regulation or offshore sourcing play a roll?  Was advertising a factor? 

Invite a representative from your local Economic Development Agency or Chamber of Commerce to visit your classroom.  Have the representative share the types of new businesses and industries moving into your community and the products they have to offer.  Reflect on supply and demand.

Bloom’s Taxonomy:  analyze, calculate, collect, compare, construct, contrast, deduce, develop, discuss, explain, hypothesize, imagine, include, incorporate, identify, invite, justify, listen, recall, reflect, research, show, summarize, use

Workforce skills:  active learning, complex problem solving, coordination, critical thinking, judgment and decision making, learning strategies, management of financial resources, management of material resources, mathematics, monitoring, negotiation, operation analysis, reading comprehension, science, speaking, writing

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To download as a PDF document, please click on the following: bESTology Week 6 – Who wants what, when and why_

While the information contained in this website has been compiled from sources believed to be current and reliable, Friends of BEST in Alabama, Inc. (FBA) cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or content changes. Links made from this website are to reputable organizations at the time of posting. However, FBA cannot be held responsible for content on such linked websites. The existence of such links does not represent an endorsement by FBA of any views expressed or products or services offered.

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