Teacher Resources

Mineral Resources for Educators

Short Educational Videos

Title page of Minerals and Gaming video

Activity Level: 3-7
Registration Required?: No
Activity types: 3 to 4 minute Educational Videos

Discover how gold allows us to play video games, how the softest mineral on earth is used in makeup, learn a new recipe, and more in "Minerals Make It!", a YouTube series by the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources.  These short educational videos are presented in an easy to understand manner to help your students discover how minerals are used in their everyday lives. Subscribe to our channel for updates when new videos are posted.                                                             



Classroom and Online Presentations

Presenting to high school students about UArizona degrees.

Activity Level: 4-12
Registration Required?: No - contact information required to request presentations (free)
Activity types: In-class presentations, Online webinars

Presentations aligned with Arizona state science standards are available for classes, clubs and groups interested in gaining a deeper understanding of mining and mineral resources.  Hands-on activities and/or demonstrations are available for most in-person topics. Click below for a full description of available presentations and to schedule one for your class.                                                                                                               



Planning for Future Students

University of Arizona Mining Engineering Virtual Info Sessions

Activity Level: 11-12, college
Registration Required?: No - email required if you wish to connect with a recruiter
Activity types: Career opportunities, Higher education information.

Mining involves much more than just digging minerals out of the ground. In order to effectively plan and run a mine, companies must work with experts in many different fields including health, science, engineering, environment, social science, business and law. Learn about the interesting and varied careers that all contribute to the minerals industry and how your students can start down the path to those careers.



Minerals and Mining Activites

A blue-handled rock hammer leaning against a sedimentary rock outcrop

Activity Level: K-12
Registration Required?: No
Activity types: Classroom activities, Worksheets            

Browse a list of mining and minerals activities for the classroom curated by the Nevada Mining Association. Students can explore how crystals form, how mines are made, and more. The hands-on activities are easily sorted by grade and include both group and individual activities. Supply lists are included with each activity and all activities are free to print and download.                                           


To the Activities!

Live STEM Webinars and QA sessions

Logo for the National Museum of Natural History

Activity Level: K-12
Registration Required?: Yes, for Webinars.
Activity types: Online activities, Classroom activities.

Students and teachers have the opportunity to participate in live webinars with Q&A delivered by Smithsonian Scientists, virtually tour the grand halls of the Natural History Museum, sign up for free on-line summer programs, and explore featured collections. The National Museum of Natural History is dedicated to inspiring people of all ages to better understand the natural world and our place in it.


To the Museum!

Virtual Mining Labs and Field Trips

A large haul truck driving out of the Cowal open pit gold mine

Activity Level: 6-12
Registration Required?: No
Activity types: Online activities, Classroom activities.

Dig Into Mining allows you to bring your students along for guided digital tours of how copper is mined. Interactive digital field trips let students look for copper, plan a mine, reclaim the environment, and see what careers are available in the mineral industry. Teachers and parents can find classroom tools and engaging activities for middle school and high school students that showcase the many ways we use minerals in our daily lives.


To the Mine!

Geodesy data and tools for Educators

A man wearing a hardhat and bright yellow safety vest stands on a hilltop overlooking the sea next to a GPS satellite receiver.

Activity Level: 6-16
Registration Required?: No 
Activity types: Online activities, Classroom activities, Lesson plans, Datasets, Data Collection

The University NAVSTAR Consortium (UNAVCO) works to facilitate research and education using Geodesy. They offer modules and activities that guide students through how to use real world geodesy data sets to answer societally important Earth science questions. Tutorials and access to GPS datasets for educators are also provided. Educator materials packets are available for a small shipping fee.                                                                                                                                       





Teaching Geoscience Online Resources

A simple geologic cross section showing 4 folded rock units cut by a fault

Activity Level: K-16
Registration Required?: No
Activity types: Online activities, Classroom activities, Earth education resource browser

The Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carlton College and the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) present “Teach the Earth.”  Along with a collection of traditional resources they provide a rich collection of online geoscience activities as well as advice and workshops for teachers transitioning to online environments.                                                                                                                                                                                                        






Geoscience Teachers Association Resources

A young woman wearing glasses examines a rock with a hand lens.

Activity Level: K-16
Registration Required?: No (Yes for journal access)
Activity types: Professional organization, Professional Development, Online activities, Classroom activities

The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) provides professional development, networking, and a large collection of teaching resources for K-16 educators. Are you looking for a rock or mineral specimen to use in your classroom? Check the rock and mineral exchange to see what is available or to make a special request. NAGT also publishes the “Journal of Geoscience Education” and the more informal “In the Trenches,” both are available to NAGT members. 



National Digital Science Library Activities

A stack of books on a desk. A cloud of ideas is emerging from the open top book.

Activity Level: K-16
Registration Required?: No
Activity types: Online Activities, Lesson Plans, Classroom Activities.

The National Science Digital Library is a searchable database of on-line educational resources for teaching and learning with an emphasis on STEM disciplines. Resources are hosted by external partners who have agreed to list their activities on the digital library. Activities are searchable by subject area, educational standards, education level, material type, and media format.


To the Library!

Ask a Geologist

A male professor sits on a rock outcrop while lecturing to college students looking up at him.

Activity Level: K-99
Registration Required?: No
Activity types: Webform with E-mail contact                  

We all get stumped sometimes. Have your students come up with an Arizona geology question they just can’t find the answer to? Geologists at the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) will happily help them discover the answer. Have your students check out the FAQ to see common questions already answered and maybe get more ideas for questions of their own.                              


To the Geologists!

Minerals Education Lesson Plans and Resources

A small sample of the mineral aurichalcite. A mass of turquoise blue acicular crystals on a bed of smaller crystals.

Activity Level: K-12
Registration Required?: No
Activity types: Online activities, Classroom activities, Lesson plans, Worksheets

The Minerals Education Coalition provides a large, searchable database of activities and resources for educators. Searches can be done by grade level or by applicable education standard addressed by the activity. This extensive collection includes interviews with industry professionals, posters and graphics for the classroom, videos, handouts, coloring pages, and more!                                                            


To the Database!

Geo Teachers professional development

A drawer full of different samples of labeled rocks waiting to be studied by geology students.

Activity Level: K-12
Registration Required?: No
Activity types: Online activities, Webinars, Professional Development

The Geological Society of America’s (GSA) “Geo Teachers” program offers professional development and support for all teachers interested in earth science. They also offer on-line webinars for using technology to teach geoscience digitally. Teachers can also register to take advantage of their excellent ETeach geoscience materials free of charge.                                                                               


To the Society!

Make your own Topo Map

The green and white logo for the United States Geological Survey(USGS) with the slogan "Science for a changing world."

Activity Level: K-16
Registration Required?: No
Activity types: Online activities, Lesson Plans, Multimedia, Downloadable Maps

Learn from home with the scientists of the United States Geological Survey(USGS). From recorded lectures, to lesson plans, to free downloadable US Topographic maps of the United States. Using the map tool you can make a free US Topo map .pdf file of your school or neighborhood. The USGS has a large variety of free resources for educators, students, and parents.                                                


To the Maps!

Sustainable Geoscience Webinars and Activites

A 3-D render of the globe of the earth with Asia centered in the middle and Australia in the bottom right corner/

Activity Level: K-12
Registration Required?: Yes for live participation (free)
Activity types: Online activities, Webinars

The Earth Institute’s K-12 channel feature experts from across the Earth Institute presenting relevant sustainability content in 60-minute live sessions for K-12 students and educators. Each session has an appropriate targeted age range based on the topic, and the sessions vary between topical lectures, demos, and skills-based training. They also have resources related to the content covered in the on-line sessions.  


To the VIDEOS!