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, all of which are available virtually (in-person classroom presentations have been suspended until deemed safe by the University of Arizona leadership and the Pima County Department of Health). 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
Careers and Academic Opportunities in Mining
Grades: 9-12, College Level
Length: 30 to 60 minutes
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.
Design a Mine
Length: 45 to 60 minutes
Related Subjects: Engineering, Geoscience
Interactivity/Participation Level: Group/Individual Activity using spreadsheet program
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.
Chemistry, the Environment, and Mining
Length: 30 to 45 minutes
Related Subjects: Chemistry, Engineering, Geoscience, Environmental Science
Interactivity/Participation Level: Presentation with chemistry demonstration
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 geologists use chemistry to find minerals, mineral processing engineers use chemistry to refine those minerals, and how environmental engineers use chemistry to protect the environment during the mining process. This presentation include a live chemistry demonstration of how we use a process called Solvent eXtraction ElectroWinning (SXEW) to refine copper from oxide copper minerals.
Rocks and Minerals, Properties and Uses
Length: 45 to 60 minutes
Related Subjects: Chemistry, Geoscience, Earth Sciences
Interactivity/Participation Level: In Development
Our virtual rocks and minerals lab is still in development. While we work hard to bring this resource online for Arizona students please do check out our "Minerals Make It!" YouTube series. In this series young learners can discover the mineral resources that make up the things they use every day. From gold in video games to talc in makeup, minerals are the backbone of our society.