A previous post gave a glimpse into the range of information found on the periodic table. One may wonder what these abstract elements look like physically and where we find them. The following activity involves both examining a Google My Map and then completing a Google Forms. The MyMap is intended to give students a glimpse into some of the sources of lithium and aluminum (bauxite) , elements with a link to our daily lives. The Forms allows for student assessment but permits a bit of freedom through a choice of which element to focus on.
This activity is designed for students with a general understanding of the periodic table and geography. Knowledge of mining operations is recommended but not necessary.
- View the Google MyMap on Lithium and Aluminum producers, either by interacting with the map on this page or by clicking HERE. Click on each location for a bit of information and some photos.
2. Complete the Google Forms activity/quiz on Lithium and Aluminum by clicking HERE. Start by choosing which element you would like to start with. You may do one or the other or both if you wish by the end of the Form. There will be resources provided for you to explore and learn from. After viewing these, answer the questions associated with your chosen element.
The Google MyMaps and the Google Forms both draw from a variety of online resources (which are listed below). You may want to double check them before doing the Forms with your students. The Forms requires students read a variety of source material, which may take a long time, maybe even the entire period or more, so keep that in mind.
Also, you can click Here to view the entire Google Forms.
The resources used:
On lithium mining (in China): http://www.lithiummine.com/lithium-mining-in-china
More on lithium mining in China: https://news.metal.com/newscontent/100911546/decryption-of-chinas-four-major-salt-lakes-five-major-refining-technical-routes-everything-about-lithium-extraction-from-the-salt-lake-is-here/
Lithium Mining (in the USA) (1955): https://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/1027g/report.pdf
News article on lithium mining in Nevada: https://www.hcn.org/issues/53.3/indigenous-affairs-mining-nevada-lithium-mine-kicks-off-a-new-era-of-western-extraction
On lithium in Portugal: https://www.savannahresources.com/assets/mina-do-barroso/
Some general information on lithium mining: https://www.volkswagenag.com/en/news/stories/2020/03/lithium-mining-what-you-should-know-about-the-contentious-issue.html
Some general information + a physics aspect: http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2010/ph240/eason2/
Top lithium producing countries: https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/features/top-lithium-producing-countries/
On Spodumene: https://www.mindat.org/min-3733.html
On Petalite: https://www.mindat.org/min-3733.html
On Lepidolite: https://www.mindat.org/min-2380.html
More on Lepidolite: https://geology.com/minerals/lepidolite.shtml
General overview of aluminum: https://www.aluminum.org/aluminum-advantage/aluminum-101
General information on Aluminum: https://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/13/aluminium
On bauxite: https://geology.com/minerals/bauxite.shtml
On the economic impact of lithium: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/lithium-batteries-environment-impact