# HOW MANY COAL MINES DOES OUR COMMUNITY HAVE? – A

Last updated: July 24, 2020

Math Skill:   Using <, > & = symbols (single-digit numbers) & Creating bar graphs

Science Subject: Our Energy Resources

Area level: State-scale

Environmental Area: Energy

Purpose: Understand where coal is produced in Indiana and develop awareness of our coal production

### BACKGROUND FOR THE TEACHER

Indiana ranked 7th in coal production and 2nd in coal consumption, after Texas in 2018 (U.S. EIA). There were 18 coal mines in 7 counties in Indiana,and15ofwhich are located in Southwest Indiana. There are 6 underground coal mines and 12 surface coal mines in our state.  Indiana produced 34.6 million short tons of coal in 2018 (U.S. EIA), of which 78.2% of the coal was mined in Southwest Indiana (U.S. EIA,  2019. Annual coal report, table 1 & 2).

Coal mining involves the displacement of large volumes of soil and rock and severally alters the environment as a result. This raises a number of environmental problems, including soil erosion, destabilization of land, water pollution, and destruction of the local ecosystem.

Coal mine reclamation is required under the federal law,  Surface Mining Control and Reclamation ACT of 1977As, to rehabilitate the land after coal mining operations have stopped. Reclamation must return the mined land to land that can be used for agriculture, forestry, wildlife habitation, or recreation. The cost of the rehabilitation of the mined land is included in the mine’s operating costs.

### TEACHER GUIDE

The map and the bar graph represent the number and location of coal mines in Indiana, as of 2018. Students  are asked to create and interpret a bar graph and compare numbers of coal mines in Indiana. The map and the bar graph are created based on data obtained from theAnnualCoalreportpreparedbyU.S. Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA-b).

### worksheet & answer key

Math Skill:   Using <, > & = symbols (single-digit numbers) & Creating bar graphs

Using the map, students are asked to create a bar graph that compares the number of coal mines in 8 counties in Indiana. They then use the symbols <, >, and = to compare the number.

### Related problem

Math Skill: Finding the range, mean, median & mode

Using the the bar graph that compares the number of coal mines in Indiana. Students also find the range, median, mean & mode of the data.