Education Outreach Program
Our Mineral Resource education outreach program, which is funded by the Mining Foundation of the Southwest, 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 that mining is modern, safe, and sustainable.
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’ll come to you!
Classroom Guest Presentations
Grades 5-12; College
30 min. – 1 hr. program
Available in Southern Arizona
U of A students, staff and volunteers are available to speak to classes, clubs and groups interested in gaining a deeper understanding of mining and mineral resources. Programming topics and suggested audience are listed below. Hands-on activities and/or demonstrations are available for most topics. Online Webinars are also available!
Careers and Academic Opportunities in Mining (any level)
- Learn about STEM career opportunities in the mining industry and academic tracks at University of Arizona.
Rocks and Minerals – properties and uses (5th – 9th grade science courses)
- This presentation reinforces basic earth science concepts learned in science class. An accompanying lab allows students to think like scientists and make connections between the physical and chemical properties of minerals and their uses in our everyday lives.
Design a Mine (9th – 12th grade science and engineering courses)
- Students are given an overview of the mining process and the science and engineering that goes into extracting mineral resources from the earth. An accompanying lab allows students to work collaboratively to collect data and design a mine that they will excavate out of kinetic sand.
Chemistry and Mining (High school or college science courses)
- Students are given an overview of how chemistry is applied in the mining industry . Accompanying demonstrations allows students to create copper metal through a series of steps using simple materials.
Environmental Science and Mining (High school or college science courses)
- Students learn about the environmental effects of mining and how they are monitored and mitigated by environmental scientists.
STEAM Fairs and Other Events
Our outreach specialists are always looking for unique new opportunities to reach 7th – 12th grade and college-level audiences. Together with our partner organizations, we strive to bring the science and engineering of mining to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math fairs and other events throughout the state of Arizona.
To notify us of your upcoming event,
Field Trip Opportunities
Mineral Resource Discovery at Flandrau Science Center
Flandrau Science Center, Tucson
This two hour program gives students hands-on experience with the science and engineering that is used in the mining industry today. Students are encouraged to connect chemistry and earth science concepts learned in the classroom to their applications in an industry that touches all of our lives. Stations include
1. How mineral deposits form
2. Exploration geology
3. Mine engineering and planning
4. Mineral processing chemistry
5. Environmental effects and monitoring.
San Xavier Mining Laboratory Tour
Did you know that the University of Arizona owns and operates its own underground mine in Sahuarita? Mine tours are available for upper-level high school and college groups interested in mining and rock-stabilization methods and geology. Group sizes underground are limited to 15, however split programs can accommodate larger groups and may include lectures or surface activities provided by U of A students, staff or faculty. Each underground tour takes approximately 2 hours. Tours are free, but availability is limited.