Helium: An Important Natural Resource

Students will construct a scientific explanation concerning the geologic processes that support the formation of helium deposits in Utah and the world.

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THE SUMMARY

8.4.1 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence that shows that the uneven distribution of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources is caused by geological processes.

Lesson Performance Expectations 

  • 8th-grade students will construct a scientific explanation concerning the geologic processes that support the formation of helium deposits in Utah and the world.
  • High school chemistry students will develop solutions related to well drilling of helium, it’s conservation and utilization.
  • Students will focus on the geochemistry associated with nuclear decay that produces helium in granitic rocks and why drilling is used to recover the gas. A granitic rock is a common, coarse-grained, light-colored, hard igneous rock consisting chiefly of quartz used in monuments and for building and commonly referred to as granite.
  • Igneous rock is one of the three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic. Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava.