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Mineral Investigation (11 Favorites)
LAB in Percent Composition, Measurements. Last updated January 30, 2020.
Summary
In this lab, students will put their problem solving skills to work as a team to determine how many specific samples of ore can be made from a lode equivalent to the size of their classroom. This lab is perfect for the start of the school year to engage students in real-life applications of chemistry, as well as essential mathematic and measurement skills.
Grade Level
High school
Objectives
By the end of this lab, students should be able to
- Understand the connection between common products and samples of ore.
- Critically analyze a given problem, and complete appropriate calculations for mass and volume.
Chemistry Topics
This lab supports students’ understanding of
- Measurement
- Percent Composition
Time
Teacher Preparation: 10-20 minutes (varies depending on access to ore samples)
Lesson: 40 minutes
Materials
- Ore Sample
- Associated Products (ex: aluminum soda cans, steel pliers, iron magnets, copper wire, copper piping, galvanized supports – see teacher notes for explanation)
- Graduated Cylinder
- Electronic Scale
- Measuring Tape
- Calculator
- Overflow Can
Safety
- Always wear safety goggles when handling chemicals in the lab.
- Students should wash their hands thoroughly before leaving the lab.
- When students complete the lab, instruct them how to clean up their materials and dispose of any chemicals.
Teacher Notes
- This lab is a great way to start the school year and introduce students to chemistry; I have students complete it on the first day of school.
- Give each lab table or lab group a different product and/or different ore sample.
- For example, if they also have bauxite ore they may have an aluminum pop can as the product. If their ore sample is hematite, 69.9% iron or magnetite, 72.3% iron, their product might be a steel vice-grip, or an iron magnet. If their ore is chalcopyrite, 34.6% copper their product may be copper pipes or copper wire. If their ore is sphalerite, 72.3% zinc, their product may be galvanized supports.
- *Note that the student procedures are designed assuming that the students have a sample of bauxite ore, and an aluminum pop can. The procedures will need to be adjusted if you are using a different sample of ore, and a different corresponding product.
For the Student
Problem
Using the given lab equipment, and a sample of ore work with your group to solve the problems given below.
Materials
- Ore Sample:
- Bauxite (34.6% Aluminum)
- Hematite (69.9% Iron)
- Magnetite (72.3% Iron)
- Chalcopyrite (34.6% Copper)
- Sphalerite (72.3% Zinc)
- Associated Metal Products
- Graduated Cylinder
- Electronic Scale
- Measuring Tape
- Calculator
- Overflow Can
Safety
- Always wear safety goggles when handling chemicals in the lab.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the lab.
- Follow the teacher’s instructions for cleanup of materials and disposal of chemicals.
Procedure
- At your lab table, you will find a sample of bauxite ore which is 34.6% aluminum.
- Problem 1: Determine how many grams of bauxite can be extracted from a lode of ore the size of this classroom.
- Record any data collected, as well as any necessary calculations in the table below.
- Problem 2: Determine how many grams of aluminum can be extracted from this lode.
- Record any data collected, as well as any necessary calculations in the table below.
- Problem 3: On your lab table is an aluminum cupcake pan. Determine how many of these cupcake pans could be made from the aluminum extracted from the lode.
- Record any data collected, as well as any necessary calculations in the table below.
Data & Calculations
Problem 1 | |
Problem 2 | |
Problem 3 |
Conclusion
Explain how you were able to solve these problems.