Rocks are raw materials we use in many ways and make into many different things. Our Wonder Works programs use children’s play to link rocks with some technologies that are important to young children, like trains and construction vehicles.
Steam locomotives (like Thomas™) were powered by coal, and today long trains of hopper cars haul coal across the Chicago area to power plants and steel mills:
Trains also haul iron ore to steel mills:
Train tracks are laid on long beds of gravel, called ballast:
Diggers and dump trucks excavate coal, ores, and other rock resources from the Earth (or, in this case, from brown play dough). Trains haul the rocks away: