Education Outreach Program

Our Mineral Resource education outreach program provides southern Arizona school students with opportunities to learn the importance of mineral resources to their everyday lives, that those mineral resources are obtained by mining, and the diverse career and education opportunities available to those who want to help society obtain the mineral resources it needs.

The program annually reaches 10,000 students from grades 5 to 12 via classroom presentations, school-associated and community-group associated Science Technology Engineering Art and Math (STEAM) fairs, a presence at mining-industry adjacent events, online video outreach content and the Mineral Resource Discovery Workshop on campus.

We offer four different classroom presentation topics, available virtually and through in-person classroom presentations. These presentation topics can be combined and tailored to classroom specific needs. Our outreach coordinators typically give presentations to multiple classes/groups at each school, usually to each class a teacher is responsible for. We are happy to work with each class depending upon their needs. For virtual presentations, outreach coordinators need access to the virtual meeting room used by each class and the ability to share their screen/presentation. 

Presentations to Classes and Groups

A slide during a virtual meeting showing a list of different careers in the mining industry, below the slide a smiling man is looking at the camera.

Careers and Academic Opportunities in Mining

Grades: 9-12, College Level

Length: 30 to 60 minutes

Modality: In Person or Virtual

Related Subjects: Career and Degree Planning, Chemistry, Engineering, Geoscience, Environmental Science

Interactivity/Participation Level: Presentation

Planning for the future can be a challenging task, especially when life and the world are open before you. This workshop focuses on getting students excited for perusing a higher education STEM degree and offers an opportunity for them to explore questions and topics about college. Students will discover the many ways they can make a difference while helping society obtain the mineral resources we all use every day. A world of opportunity awaits students in mineral resources, whether they want to stay close to home in Arizona, or travel the world. Our outreach coordinators will help them explore a career that can help them achieve their dreams while applying the skills they are learning school today.


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A Virtual Presentation screen. The main screen contains a simple geologic block model in four layers underneath small pictures of the rock each block color corresponds to. On the right there are two images of a model open pit mine and a block model.

Design a Mine

Grades: 9-12

Length: 45 to 60 minutes

Modality: In-Person or Virtual

Related Subjects: Engineering, Geoscience

Interactivity/Participation Level: Group/Individual Activity using spreadsheet program (students will need access to a computer)

Students learn about the mining process and the science and engineering that goes into extracting mineral resources from the earth. An accompanying Google Sheets/Excel based activity allows students to work individually or collaboratively to design a mine using a simple geologic block model. The activity introduces students to spreadsheet programs and the thought process engineers use to design open pit mines using geologic and economic data. For students unfamiliar with Google Sheets/Excel extra time will be taken to introduce the programs and group work is recommended.                               



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In a virtual meeting the presenters camera shows a hand holding small pieces of malachite. An inset camera in the lower right corner shows the presenters face. He is looking at the camera and talking.

Mineral Processing Engineering

Grades: 9-12

Length: 45 to 90 minutes (2 class periods recommended for in-person activity)

Modality: In-Person (hands on activity) or Virtual (demonstration only)

Related Subjects: Chemistry, Engineering, Geoscience, Environmental Science

Interactivity/Participation Level: Presentation with Mineral Processing Engineering Activity

Chemistry is the answer. Thanks to chemistry we can obtain the mineral resources we need and protect the environment while we do so. In this presentations students will learn how mineral processing engineers use chemistry to refine those minerals and how environmental engineers use chemistry to protect the environment during the mining process. The in-person presentation includes a mineral processing activity in which students apply their knowledge of chemistry and physics to engineer and improve an Electrowinning cell to refine copper from oxide copper minerals. The virtual presentation features a live demonstration of the process that incorporates student suggestions for improving the process. 


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A collage of many different minerals of different sizes and shapes.

Rocks and Minerals, Properties and Uses

Grades: 4-12

Length: 45 to 60 minutes

Modality: In-Person, hands on activity

Related Subjects:  Chemistry, Geoscience, Earth Sciences

Interactivity/Participation Level: Presentation with hands on activity

Sphalerite in sunscreen? Talc in a textbook? In this presentation students will discover the mineral resources that they use every day by working with the minerals themselves. Students can learn how to identify minerals, or practice using the skills they already have, with a set of minerals commonly used as ore minerals for the metals and materials we use to build the world around us.







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