At a Glance


  • STEM
  • Chemistry

Instructional Level

  • University


  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Group
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Collecting & seeking information
  • Discussing
  • Analyzing
  • Creating & designing
  • Presenting
  • Experimenting & conducting inquiry

Technical Details

Class size

  • Small (20-49)


  • Part of a semester (4-6 weeks)

Inclusivity & Accessibility

  • Diversity of engagement

Instructional Purpose

  • Application & knowledge building
  • Exploration & inquiry


This activity takes an in depth look at the environmental impact of mining and the quantification of environmental contaminants. Students research the history and environmental chemistry of a disused mine and the surrounding area. They are invited to devise their own sampling plans, execute them in the field, then return to the lab to analyze their own samples and the data.

Instructional Objectives

  • Become familiar with field sampling techniques for soil and water
  • Learn to take appropriate precautions for sampling
  • Undertake to prepare for a field exercise
  • Measure the pH of samples

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

Gregor Kos

Gregor Kos

Concordia University, Montreal


The students engage with the material by producing their own plans and analyzing their own data.


The exercise takes place over several class periods.


Adapt the activity to your needs and resources available (e.g., use titration of water samples); focus content on environmental (impact of trace metal pollution) or analytical topics (trace metal analysis).


Leave a comment! Activities get better when we receive feedback and understand how they might be adapted and reused. Please let us know what you think after using this Activity, or if you have questions about how it might be used differently.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *