Earth Science has been our most highly demanded new content area. You ask for it, we provide it: a new Earth's Systems module now exists, adding the storyline 'Yours, Mines, and Ours.'
In this 7-quest storyline, students will try to find out where diamonds can be mined in Espeth to shore up the supply for industrial uses. Along the way, they will learn about the rock cycle, how diamonds form within the Earth, Earth’s inner structure, and how humans can extract diamonds from the ground (and elsewhere!) with the help of technology.
Though our primary focus has always been science, we've made a point to add more mathematical problem-solving to our storylines. This one is no exception: students will need to help a budding geologist calculate the relative width and depth of a pit mine that is to be constructed nearby. The sides of the pit must always maintain a 45 degree angle to avoid cave-ins, and one of the sites borders a nature preserve, which places a limit on how wide (and therefore, how deep) it can go before doing harm to the environment.
No matter what's being mined, all types of mining wreak havoc on local environments. However, we wanted to be sensitive to the fact that mining has other effects besides environmental devastation. Countless families around the world depend upon the economies created by mining industries. Communities are built around mines, and they, too, can be negatively affected when mines are abandoned or built without care.
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