Last updated: July 24, 2020
Science Subject: Our Energy Resources
Grade level: 3rd grade
Area level: State-scale
Environmental Area: Energy
Purpose: Understand that Indiana is one of the largest states of coal production and develop awareness of coal production
BACKGROUND FOR THE TEACHER
Indiana ranked 7th in coal production and 2nd in coal consumption, after Texas and 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 (28.8 million short tons in 2016), of which 78% 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 severely alters the environment as a result. This results in a number of environmental problems, including soil erosion, destabilization of land, water pollution, and destruction of local ecosystems. Coal-powered electricity generation is also associated with air pollution and climate change.
The purpose of this activity is to enhance students’ skills in number and operations that include number arrangement, expanded notation, place value, and rounding (from PROBLEM A to F). PROBLEM G provides questions to strengthen students’ skills in interpreting a bar graph. This activity uses the amount of coal production in the 8 largest coal producing states in this countryin2018. Data was obtained from the U.S. Energy information Administration (U.S. EIA).
Worksheet & answer key
Using the table that shows the amount of coal production in the 8 largest coal producing states in 2018, students are asked to complete questions related to number and operations, including finding place values and rounding 3- digit numbers.