Teach PA History
Edible Coal Mining

1. Have students take turns trying to "mine" for the chocolate chips in a peer's landform. 2. Create a machine that could be used to make coal extraction even easier. 3. Debate the usefulness of the coal vs. environmental concerns. 4. Explore safety in the mines. Students could not only learn about historical accidents/incidents, but also become aware of modern safety tips. For an excellent website resource see Department of Labor-Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) Kid's Page []. 5. Before modern machinery man relied on the help of other animals to mine coal. Horses/mules were used for pulling coal-laden carts to the surface. Canaries were used to measure the safety of the air. Miners even looked to the behavior of rats to judge impending danger in the mine. Students can research the early-day use of animals in the mines.

Field Trips

Patch/Work Voices Coal and Coke Heritage Center Penn State University, Fayette Campus One University Drive, P.O. Box 519 Uniontown, PA 15401 724-430-4158
This center provides numerous resources–photographs, maps, newspapers, and hundreds of hours of interviews–preserving the history of the bituminous coal and coke in the Connellsville area. They also have educational mining videos, cultural artifacts, and their own model of a coal tipple to illustrate how it works.

Seldom Seen Valley Tourist Coal Mine Route 36 Patton, PA 16668 814-247-6305
Now a tourist mine, this was once a thriving, small, family-owned mine (operating under several different names). In its peak year, 1951, it employed 37 miners who produced and shipped by rail 33,538 tons of coal. Call in advance for school group visits. Groups will actually go underground to experience the sights and sounds of a real coal mine. You may want to ask your students, "What kind of mine is this?"

Pennsylvania Bituminous Coal Show West George St. Carmichaels, PA 15320 724-966-5461
Perhaps more a summer family "field trip," this weeklong show is held in late August each year and will help you learn everything you ever wanted to know about bituminous coal. Hosted by the community of Carmicheal in Greene County, the people celebrate the important role bituminous coal has played in their history and their lives. There is a parade, a coronation of "Coal Queen", and other varieties of entertainment.

Windber Coal Heritage Center 501 15th St., Windber, PA 15963 814-467-6680
Windber was created overnight by the Berwind-White Coal Company. To learn about the industry and people who made it possible, explore exhibits which focus on immigrant workers, tools, and technology of the coal industry. A fiber-optic mine map is also on display. The Center is on a limited schedule, so call in advance for information.

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