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Mining and Minerals Jeopardy Game

Mine & mineral jepardy game in the classroom This program is divided into two parts. The first starts with an educational session about coal mining, reclamation and Illinois minerals and their uses. It is adaptable to any state and minerals, or other subject matter. Students must be advised how important it is to pay attention, because the game will cover the educational session of the program.

The second part of the program gives the students a test using the Jeopardy game format. The game uses mining-related categories and is complete with buzzers and lights. From experience, it is advisable to cover the button board with a sheet, as it is very distracting to the students during the education session.

The educational portion may be done by narrating from slides or displays. The Jeopardy portion may be done by displaying the questions with an overhead projector or by reading off a sheet. Slides and overheads are preferable in a classroom session. The display and reading of questions have been successfully used in less controlled environments such as eco-meets and conservation fairs. The preferred time needed for this program is 60 minutes; however it has been adapted for as little as twenty minutes.

The Jeopardy portion is done by dividing the group into four teams. Keep them seated but grouped together. One student from each group comes up to the button board. An explanation is given that the higher the point card in each category, the harder the question. One student starts and picks a category and a point card. The question (ANSWER FORMAT) is read and/or displayed. Students will press the button if they think they have the answer. The first button pressed will light and lock out the other lights. If correct, the point card is placed in front of that button. The four students go back to their seats, and four more come up. The team that won that question picks again. If the question is answered incorrectly, press the buzzer on the answer box and also the central reset button, and ask the remaining three players if they wish to ring in. Repeat the question. If no one is interested, give the answer and call up a new group.

Experience has shown it is easier to give only points for correct answers and not negative points for incorrect ones. Further, for younger children, giving multiple-choice answers for the questions may be advisable. Twenty to thirty students, split into the four teams, will have several turns at the board within a ten-minute period. The winning team may be given a prize if desired.


  • Lights - Four automotive lights (local hardware store)
  • Switches (Switches, relays and sockets from Newark Electronics)
    • Reset - One IDEC 22mm normally opened extended push-button switch
      (Stock # 96F3627 Type ABW 110-B-G-R)
    • Player - Four IDEC 22mm normally closed flush-mounted push-button switches
      (Stock # 96F3628 Type ABW 101-B-G-R)
    • Relays - Four Potter and Brumfield socket-mounted KUP 3PDT 12-volt DC relays
      (Stock # 24F2624 Type KUP-14D15)
    • Sockets - Four Potter and Brumfield screw-terminal sockets
      (Stock # 57F3430 Type 27E121)
  • Spade terminals and 14-gauge wire (local hardware store)
  • Batteries - 2 6-volt lantern batteries wired in series
  • Buzzer box
    • Buzzer - One doorbell - buzzer type
    • One doorbell button
    • One six-volt lantern battery and bell wire.
      If labor is free, the button board and buzzer box can be built for approximately $250.
This project has been developed by Dean Spindler and Jeff Steiner,
Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Mines and Minerals (217) 782-4970

Other Teacher Packet Pages:

Office of Mines and Minerals Home

Mines and Minerals Publications
Educational Materials
ArcGIS Coal Mine Viewer
OMM Initiatives
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