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Title: Coal Production in the USA
Level: Intermediate, Middle School
Time: 2-3 Days
KERA Goals: 2.1, 2.
Objective: 1. Students will determine the leading coal producing states and calculate their productions totals. 2. Students will be able to sort the coal production data information according to alphabetical order by state and according to total tonnage per thousand short tons from highest to lowest. 3. Students will color code a map of the United States indicating coal production.
Materials:
1. Information sheet (below)
2. The map from the U.S. Department of Energy. (below) It shows where various kinds of coal (lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous and anthracite) can be found. The chart below it shows which states mine coal and how much each produced in 1990.
3. Blank map of the United States
4. Crayons

Activity:
1. Arrange the states by alphabetical order. What is the first state listed? What is the last state? Estimate how much difference there is between the two figures.
2.. Find the top five coal producing states. What are their total production levels?
3. Find all of the states which begin with the letter "A" and whose coal production is less than 12,000 thousand short tons. Add the states totals. Is the value more, less, or equal to the sum of the totals for California and Oklahoma?
4. Based upon the map and information given, can you determine an estimate of the total number of tons of coal in the United States? . Why or why not? (Are all 50 states represented? Are there oal reserves yet untapped?)
5. Color code a map of the United States indicating coal production.

 

1989 U.S. Coal Production By State
(Thousand Short Tons)
StateTotalStateTotalStateTotal
Wyoming171,558Kentucky166,472W. Virginia153,143
Pennsylvania69,542Illinois59,246Texas53,849
Virginia42,766Montana37,742Ohio33,525
Indiana 33,631North Dakota29,555Alabama27,888
New Mexico23,702Utah20,099Colorado17,115
Arizona11,935Tennessee6,367Washington5,039
Missouri3,377Maryland3,343Louisiana2,983
Oklahoma1,728Alaska1,582Kansas854
Iowa427Arkansas39California41

 

Coal Production in the USA
Answer Key
Alphabetical:   
StateTotalStateTotal
Alabama27,888Montana37,742
Alaska1,582New Mexico23,702
Arizona11,935North Dakota29,555
Arkansas39Ohio33,525
California41Oklahoma1,728
Colorado17,115Pennsylvania69,542
Illinois59,246Tennessee6,367
Indiana33,631Texas53,849
Iowa427Utah20,099
Kansas854Virginia42,766
Kentucky 166,472Washington5,039
Louisiana2,983West Virginia153,143
Maryland3,343Wyoming171,558
Missouri3,377  
The first state listed is Alabama….27,888.
The last state listed is Wyoming…..171,558.
The difference, 171,558 - 27,888 = 143,670, or approximately 144,000.

 

The top five coal producing states:
State Total
Wyoming171,558
Kentucky166,472
West Virginia153,143
Pennsylvania69,542
Illinois59,246

 

States that start with "A" and have more than 12,000 thousand short tons:
StateTotal13,556 > 1,769
Alaska1,582
Arizona11,935
Arkansas39
Total13,556
California41
Oklahoma1,728
Total1,769

 

Provided by Pittsburgh Energy Technology Center

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