Nurture Nature – bESTology Week 10

Published by rrfenton on

Nurture Nature – bESTology Week 10

Image: science

Image: science

Ecosystems are made up of fragile interconnections between biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) components. We, as well as all living organisms, depend on abiotic and biotic factors for our existence; therefore protecting our environment while mining is imperative.

Many abiotic factors such as rocks and minerals are mined but upon doing so we must be conscience of the environment. Laws and regulations have been established and are enforced near mining communities to ensure the well being of all living things.

As bESTologists, let’s evaluate the positive and negative effects of mining on the environment and excavate Week 10!


Data Mining: Decisions. Decisions. Constructing a mine involves many decisions of how to protect the mining community’s ecosystem. Five steps for good decision-making are:

  • Step 1: Identify Your Goal
  • Step 2: Gather Information for Weighing Your Options
  • Step 3: Consider the Consequences
  • Step 4: Make Your Decision
  • Step 5: Evaluate Your Decision

After reviewing the above resources, organize a brainstorming session to identify all of the biotic and abiotic components within an ecosystem that are possibly impacted by mining. To jumpstart your session, here are a few fundamentals of the environment to consider:

  • Air
  • Water
  • Asbestos
  • Radon
  • Tailings
  • Dust and silica
  • Endangered species
  • Mega dumps

Conclude your brainstorming session by listing the pros and cons of mining. Differentiate the types of mined commodities that are a necessity versus luxury.

Challenge: Propose new environmentally-friendly ideas for closed underground mines. Think out-side-of-the box with ideas such as beehives, geothermal energy and hotels.

Writing: Both scientists and engineers contribute to the world of human knowledge, but in different ways. Scientists use the scientific method to develop an experiment to answer a question. Engineers use the engineering design process to create solutions to problems. An engineer identifies a specific need: Who need(s) what because why? And then, he or she creates a solution that meets the need.

Read the above resource, Case Study on the Impact of Mining and Dams in the Philippines. Create an outline using the steps of either the scientific method or engineering design process showing how the organizers of the project developed their recommendations by following specific steps. Examine the seven (7) recommendations and choose the one you believe will create the most positive change. Write a summary explaining your choice or write your own recommendation(s) for the Philippine community.

BEST Connection: Reflect on the 2014 BEST game, Bladerunner, and recall the environmental concern for the transportation industry. Whether it is building a new a highway or mine, justify the reasoning of relocating the habitats of indigenous species. Analyze the concept of a wildlife corridor and record the pros and cons of its implementation.

Community Connection: It’s spring and it’s field trip time! Locate the nearest quarry (open-pit mine) and organize a visit. Prepare a list of environmental questions for the quarry operator and discuss how they actively protect the local surroundings. Persuade the quarry executives and employees to attend the upcoming BEST competition. Capture photos of your visit and post to the Friends of BEST in Alabama and BEST Robotics Facebook pages!

Bloom’s Taxonomy: analyze, capture, choose, conclude, consider, create, differentiate, discuss, examine, explain, identify, list, justify, organize, persuade, post, prepare, read, recall, recommend, record, reflect, review

Workforce Skills: reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking, speaking, active learning, writing, persuasion, complex problem solving, science, judgment and decision-making

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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