Grade 4/5 students at Range Lake North School got the change to dig for sweet, sweet cookie gold this week.

The Rocks, Minerals and Mining Workshop, put on by Mining Matters and funded by TerraX Minerals Inc., brought mining to school, including a cookie mining activity on Tuesday.

Students went through all the steps to open their own cookie mine, from environmental permits and taxes to hiring employees, buying equipment and finally digging for various minerals in their rainbow chip cookies. Teacher Mike Mansfield said the pilot program fits in with the science curriculum.

“It’s focused on giving the students a better understanding of mining in the territory,” he said. “It’s supposed to give them an idea of real world mining.”

While it might look like crumbling fun, the activity had students doing mathematical calculations on the fly, as they decided if they’d buy cheaper, used equipment or more expensive new pieces, how much they’d set aside for clean-up after the mine closed, and paying taxes.

They also learned about different minerals, as each chip represented something different they might find in the NWT.

Jessica Davey-Quantick/NNSL photo
Nia Bottomley, left, and Jasmin Manickum show off their environmental permits. Students had to make sure to display their paperwork, or face stiff fines.
Jessica Davey-Quantick/NNSL photo
The temptation was strong to just eat his mine for Derek But.
Jessica Davey-Quantick/NNSL photo
Austyn Bell carefully mines his cookie for sweet, sweet chips with a paper clip. He opted for the most expensive equipment, over cheaper wooden toothpicks.
Jessica Davey-Quantick/NNSL photo
Ayan Adeel delicately extracts a single chip from his cookie.
Jessica Davey-Quantick/NNSL photo
Teacher Mike Mansfield pitches the benefits of a shiny new paperclip, over a used wooden toothpick, for mining cookies, while substitute education assistant Derek Lindman, bottom left, keeps track of the cash.
Jessica Davey-Quantick/NNSL photo
Bilingual program coordinator Julie Lepine explains the rules of the game with program coordinator Lisa Ambira, left.

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