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The Amazing Mundo Title Banner
Character named Mandy holding a pencil

Hi I'm Mandy! See this pencil?

The outside is made of wood and the inside is made of graphite, which is what you write with. Graphite is a mineral that comes from  Earth .

What other things we use everyday are made from minerals and rocks? Check out this comic strip to help me figure it out!

A young girl named Mandy looking frazzled at the kitchen table trying to do geology homework. She says "Aaargh!! I give up!"
Grandpa walks in to the kitchen and asks," What's wrong, Mandy?" She says, "I have a geology test tomorrow. I can't remember a thing!"
Grandpa has a top hat and says "Sounds like a job for..." Mandy says, "No Please!" Grandpa says, "the Amazing Mundo!" Mundo means "Earth" in Spanish.
Grandpa holding a glass says, "Where did it come from?" Mandy asks, "The store?" He says, "Long before that. Let's say the magic words: Mundo Shamundo
a glass in the palm of one hand a question mark in the other

Mandy needs your help! Can you help her figure out what glass is made of?

pile of sand

Sand

diamonds

Diamonds

shells

Shells

Nope. Try again!
Poof! Then hand holding sand
You got it!

ANSWER: Sand

That's right, glass comes from sand!

Mandy says, "Grandpa how'd you do that?" "Mundo never reveals his secrets! But you found out that glass comes from heated sand that cools quickly."
Mundo says, "Did you know that lenses, which help people see, are made from glass? Silicon chips that make computers work come from glass, too."
Mundo says, "For my next trick, I need to borrow change." Mandy hands him coins. He says, "Put them in my hand, cover them, and say Mundo Shamundo!"
coins in the palm of one hand a question mark in the other

Can you help Mandy figure out what coins are made of?

Oil barrel

Oil

chunk of gray metal ore

Metal ore

round chunk of jade

Jade

Nope. Try again!
Poof! Then hand holding lumps of metal ore
You got it!

ANSWER: Metal ore

That's right, coins are made of Metal ore.

"Where's my money?" she asks. Holding metal lumps he says, Coins are from metals like zinc, copper and nickel. These metals come from rocks called ore
"Did you know braces are made from stainless-steel materials like titanium? Steel used to make bridges is very hard because it's a combo of many metal
Mundo holding foil says, "What kind of rock do you think this aluminum foil used to be?" Mandy asks, "That foil was a rock?" Say Mundo Shamundo!
aluminum foil in the palm of one hand a question mark in the other

Can you help Mandy figure out what aluminum foil is made of?

diamonds

Diamonds

round chunk of jade

Jade

chunk of bauxite

Bauxite

Nope. Try again!
Poof! Then hand holding bauxite
You got it!

ANSWER: Bauxite

That's right, it's made from bauxite rock.

hand holding a piece of bauxite with speech bubble that says "Here you go - a rock called bauxite! Imagine trying to wrap a tuna sandwich in that!
Mundo says, "Did you know that lightweight parts of bicycles are made from bauxite and rocket fuel used to launch a space shuttle contains aluminum?"
Mundo says "Let's do this over the sink, it'll be messy. Hold that plastic ball in your hands. Let's find out how it started out." Mundo Shamundo!
a red plastic ball in the palm of one hand a question mark in the other

Can you help Mandy figure out what plastic is made of?

Oil barrel

Oil

pile of sand

Sand

meteorite with flaming tail

Meteorite

Nope. Try again!
Poof! Then hands covered in oil
You got it!

ANSWER: Oil

That's right, plastic comes from oil!

Mandy with hands covered in dark liquid says, "Ew! What's this?" Mundo tells her, "Oil, Mandy. Plastic started out long ago as oil deep inside Earth."
Mundo says "Did you know that gasoline used to run cars comes from oil? Many of our clothes and toys are made with oil, too."
Days later Grandpa asks, "How was the test?" She says, "To see, first it's time for the Amazing Mandy's trick. Put your cupcake under the magic cloth.
Mandy asks grandpa who is holding the cupcake to say the magic words "Mandy Shamandy!" and he does.
Magical POOF! explosion
Grandpa with A-grade test cheers, "You did it! Where's my cupcake?" Mandy with frosting on face says, "The Amazing Mandy never reveals her secrets!"
Mandy's face in circle

Wow! Thanks for your help! So how many things started out as rocks and minerals. I am going to start my own rock collection right now!

Click here for a PDF version of this story.

Image Credits:

Photos: glasses, magnifying glass, computer chip, bike, pumping gas, polyester toy: courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH); braces: courtesy of AMNH, Craig Chesek; Brooklyn Bridge: The City of New York rocket: NASA; Illustrations: Daryll Collins