As part of our Earth Science unit students learned about land reclamation and mining in this hands-on activity. Cookies were used to model a mine and the chocolate chips represented the ore that needed to be extracted. Students set up a mining company which allowed them to create a budget in order to purchase a mine and the necessary tools. Companies paid EPA fines when reclamation was not up to government standards. With two opportunities to mine, students recognized that they could make the most money when they simply destroyed the land and paid the fine. As a group, we made connections between our cookie lab with actual mining operations and their effect on the environment.