Round And Round We Go – bESTology Week 7

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Round And Round We Go – bESTology Week 7


Rather than 3-2-1 let’s go, it’s 3-1-4 let’s ROLL!  Circling around the Rock Cycle and celebrating Pi Day!  

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a cycle is a set of events or actions that happen again and again in the same order.  Although the rocks under our feet seem permanent, they are constantly changing as part of the rock cycle.  The rock cycle is a basic concept in geology that describes sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rock and how they change over time.  Understanding the formation, structure and location of rocks and minerals is imperative in the mining industry.  3-1-4 let’s roll…


Data Mining: Think big!  The rock, carbon and water cycles are only a few of the cycles Mother Nature created.  But one may ask why are these cycles significant?  View the above resources and list five reasons the rock cycle is important to the planet Earth. Determine whether or not there is a direct correlation between the rock, carbon and water cycles and if so, explain the relationships.  Continue to discuss why it is imperative for mining companies to employ the following:  GPS engineer, exploration geologist, geophysicist, rock engineer, geotechnical engineer and a mapping geologist.  

Writing:  Time for a scavenger hunt!  Using a map, plot a 3.14 radius around your school or home.  Search and collect various types and sizes of rocks within the identified area.  Determine if each rock is sedimentary, metamorphic or igneous.  Create your own map showing the locations where each type of rock was found.  Beside each location on the map, write a hypothesis of how each rock arrived to its current location.

Challenge:  Study the collected rocks and predict which rock weighs the closest to 3.14 lbs. Weigh the rocks to see if you are correct.

BEST Connection:  Mining rocks and minerals requires countless variations of tools, machinery and robots.  Using the rocks recently collected, design and construct a prototype end effector (gripper) for a BEST robot that would be able to grasp, lift and transport each rock.  Analyze and discuss each of the following while creating the prototype:

  • Diameter of rocks to be transported
  • Coefficient of friction
  • Weight of the rock(s)
  • Gravitational force
  • Gripping surface
  • Not damaging the transported materials

Research current mining equipment and examine real-world end effectors.  Determine if a redesign or improvement of your prototype would be beneficial.

Community Connection:  Ready for some American Pi Fun?

  • Name a U.S. city with a zip code containing the first 5 digits of pi.  Research and name two major businesses or industries located within the zip code area. 
  • Name the state that tried to legislate a value for pi.  Research and name the largest mining company for that state.
  • Identify two mining companies that use circles in their name or logo.
  • Identify two state flags that include circles in their design.  Research and name two commodities that are mined in each of these states.
  • Name rocks and minerals that made the news on March 14, 1891.
  • Identify a city and state where a miners meeting is begin hosted March 14, 2015 and read their agenda.
  • Name a store in your community that sells ROCK candy.  Determine the price and calculate the cost for 3.14 lbs.

Bloom’s Taxonomy:  analyze, calculate, collect, construct, create, determine, discuss, examine, explain, hypothesize, identify, list, name, prototype, read, redesign, research, search, study, use, view, weigh, write

Workforce Skills:  Reading comprehension, critical thinking, active learning, writing, learning strategies, systems analysis, complex problem solving, mathematics, equipment selection, systems evaluation, science, technology design

Download a PDF copy:  bESTology Week 7 Round and Round we Go

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