Each year, MEC partners with the American Geosciences Institute’s Earth Science Week (ESW) to provide educational resources across the globe at www.EarthSciWeek.org and in the ESW Toolkit. Participation in this initiative affords MEC the opportunity to reach a vast number of educators with education resources and to provide outreach materials to SME members and others interested in sharing the importance of mining and minerals to everyday life.
2023 THEME ANNOUNCED:
“GEOSCIENCE INNOVATING FOR EARTH AND PEOPLE”
The Earth Science event (October 8-14, 2023) emphasizes the many ways that innovations in geosciences are helping communities create healthier and increasingly sustainable lives while accelerating environmental problem-solving around the world. The program resources and activities will help educators teach about established and emerging technologies and techniques used by geoscientists as they play a growing role in society through developing stable infrastructures; fostering sustainable water, mineral, and energy resources; analyzing and applying data about the Earth; and keeping people safe from natural hazards. The celebration will highlight the wide range of fascinating and rewarding careers in geosciences, and the ways that those careers are vital to understanding, monitoring, and living on the planet. Monday, October 9, 2023, is Minerals Day. Copies of the 2023 Earth Science Week Toolkit are free, and available for the cost of shipping and handling in the U.S. To order your ESW Toolkits, please visit earthsciweek.org/online-toolkit.
This postcard in the Toolkit gives teachers the link to visit this page for MEC’s new activities (below):
JOBS OF TOMORROW ACTIVITY UNIT
Learn about important engineering, environmental and tech jobs in this new unit. Watch the Jobs of Tomorrow video series and complete the related activities below to understand how innovation is changing the jobs required to meet the growing demand for minerals.
Safe as a Mine (Grades 6-12)
Students will learn about the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) used in mining, as well as innovations that make a safe industry even safer.
Use this Mining PPE information sheet with the Safe as a Mine Activity above.
Aluminum: Saving Energy to Make More (Grades 9-12)
Energetic Aluminum Activity
Students will conduct an experiment to illustrate the reason that it takes a great deal of energy to process aluminum.
Calculating Cans Activity
Students will calculate the amount of aluminum cans used annually, exemplifying the magnitude of this number by using distance to the moon.
Students will calculate the amount of energy that could be saved if all the aluminum cans are recycled, using the energy in gasoline to illustrate this.
Learn more about aluminum.
Minerals in My State (Grades 6-12)
Students will learn about mineral commodities mined or produced in their home state.
Students will consider the importance of minerals in their everyday lives, now and in the future, in relation to the availability of critical minerals.
Watch the above webinars in this playlist.
The “Drones for Geoscience” webinar included the new SME video with Dr. Richard Bishop, Virginia Tech Mining & Minerals Engineering, who talked about the use of drones in mining. Be sure to watch the Flying Drones in the Mining Industry video.
SME Exploring Careers in the Mining and Minerals Industry
Learn more about careers in mining and minerals, and download this new 16-page guide for students, parents and teachers to learn more about mining-related careers.
Learn more about mining for the green economy.
“EARTH SCIENCE FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD”
The 25th annual Earth Science Week celebration (October 9-15, 2022) will provide opportunities for everyone to enhance their understanding of geoscience—including the professions, technologies, and practices that contribute to the sustainability of the Earth, society, and all of life. Program resources and activities will help educators teach about our planet and its systems, and engage young people and others in exploring the many ways that Earth science can and does help promote a sustainable world. Monday, October 10, 2022 will also be Minerals Day. Copies of the 2022 Earth Science Week Toolkit are free, and available for the cost of shipping and handling in the U.S. To order your ESW Toolkits, please visit earthsciweek.org/online-toolkit.
This postcard in the Toolkit gives teachers the link to visit this page for MEC’s new activities:
GETTING THE METAL OUT
Metals like copper, iron, and gold are critical components of our daily lives. From cell phones to solar panels to electric cars, mined metals have built the technology of the present and will continue to be crucial to the technology of the future. This new unit provides several activities demonstrating different ways that valuable metals are separated from the unwanted minerals in ore.
Froth Flotation of Minerals Simulation Activity
Students will simulate froth flotation, a process used to separate valuable minerals from crushed ore.
Iron Minerals on the Moon
Students will model the process of magnetic separation of minerals that metallurgists use to separate valuable iron minerals from the rest of the minerals in the ore.
Modeling Metal Recovery from Very Low-Grade Ore Materials
Students will model metal recovery from low-grade ores. Low-grade ores have a smaller amount of valuable material per unit of ore than a high-grade ore, requiring different processing techniques.
“WATER TODAY AND FOR THE FUTURE”
The 24th annual Earth Science Week celebration (October 10-16, 2021) will focus on how important it is to understand and learn how to conserve and protect Earth’s vital resource—water. Copies of the 2021 Earth Science Week Toolkit are free, and available for the cost of shipping and handling in the U.S. To order your ESW Toolkits, please visit www.earthsciweek.org/materials. This two-sided postcard in the Toolkit gives teachers the link to visit this page for MEC’s new activities.
MEC has produced the “Create a Development Plan for a New Reservoir” educational unit which includes two new MEC activities in the online lesson plan, and the “Aggregate Mining Creates Freshwater Reservoirs and New Habitats!” activity in the 2021-2022 Earth Science Week Calendar found in the Toolkit and downloadable below. Monday October 11, 2021 will be the “Minerals Day” Focus Day during Earth Science Week, with resources available at EarthSciWeek.org/minerals-day, including resources from MEC.
Create a Development Plan for a New Reservoir
Students grades 9-12 will learn what features and attractions to build in a newly developed recreational area around a body of water, and how these features, attractions and activity sites should be placed.
Download the activity:
MATERIAL PROPERTY AND VOLUME EXERCISE
Students grades 9-12 will calculate the volume of a conical shaped stockpile, then calculate how much Portland Cement concrete highway pavement may be constructed from a stockpile volume of coarse aggregate.
Download the activity:
AGGREGATE MINING CREATES FRESHWATER RESERVOIRS AND NEW HABITATS!
Students grades 6-9 will research local, community water sources and compare these with the amount a specific, reclaimed quarry can hold.
Download the activity:
Find more activities about aggregates.
Find information about Minerals Day, October 11, 2021, which is a new Focus Day during Earth Science Week here. Why not try another year’s Earth Science Week activities on Minerals Day? Play the Grown or Mined Game with Roxie the Mining Dog, or learn about AgLime and how it is crucial to ensuring that soil is in the proper condition to grow our food!
2020 THEME: “EARTH MATERIALS IN OUR LIVES”
The 23rd annual Earth Science Week celebration (October 11-17, 2020) will focus on the ways that Earth materials impact humans — and the ways human activity impacts these materials — in the 21st century. Copies of the 2020 Earth Science Week Toolkit are free, and available for the cost of shipping and handling in the U.S. To order your ESW Toolkits, please visit www.earthsciweek.org/materials. This postcard in the Tookit gives teachers the link to visit this page for MEC’s new activities.
In collaboration with the Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA), MEC has produced the Sort It Out! educational unit which includes the OAIMA video tour of aggregate processing facilities, an MEC lesson plan, and the Sifting Stones activity in the 2020-2021 Earth Science Week Calendar found in the Toolkit downloadable below.
Download the lesson plan:
Students will learn about the different uses and values of sand, gravel and crushed stone (aggregates) when sorted by size. This earth science and physical science lesson is aligned with state and national education standards.
Download the activity:
Find more activities about aggregates here.
Find information about Minerals Day, October 12, 2020, which is a new Focus Day during Earth Science Week here. Why not try another year’s Earth Science Week activities on Minerals Day? Play the Grown or Mined Game with Roxie the Mining Dog, or learn about AgLime and how it is crucial to ensuring that soil is in the proper condition to grow our food!
2019 THEME: “GEOSCIENCE IS FOR EVERYONE”
The 22nd annual Earth Science Week celebration (October 13-19, 2019) will emphasize both the inclusive potential and the importance of the geosciences in the lives of all people. Copies of the 2019 Earth Science Week Toolkit are free, and available for the cost of shipping and handling in the U.S. To order your ESW Toolkits, please visit www.earthsciweek.org/materials. This two-sided postcard in the Tookit gives teachers the link to visit this page for MEC’s new activities.
In collaboration with the Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA) and the Ohio Mining and Mineral Education Program (OMMEP), MEC produced a lesson/game that lets students guess whether things they use every day were grown or mined. MEC also contributed the Rocks Ahoy! activity to the 2019-2020 Earth Science Week Calendar found in the Toolkit.
GROWN OR MINED: What’s under the Rock? GAME
Play a game with Roxie the Mining Dog! Can you guess whether some of the things you use every day are made from materials that were grown or mined? Toothpaste? Bicycles? It’s not that easy! Play “What’s Under the Rock” with Roxie and find out the important roles that minerals and mining play in the things you use every day.
Download the game/activity as a PowerPoint (11 MB) here.
Search national and state educational standards information for this activity.
Find more activities about our natural resources here.
Rocks Ahoy! ACTIVITY
Students will learn about three types of igneous rocks—scoria, obsidian and pumice—and test them through heft and then test whether they will sink or float. Students will discuss how the commercial use of these rocks may vary based on the characteristics observed, especially density. This earth science and physical science lesson is aligned with state and national education standards.
Download the activity:
Search national and state educational standards information for this activity.
Find more activities about geology and the rock cycle here.
Find more activities about properties of minerals here.
2018 THEME: “EARTH AS INSPIRATION”
The 21st annual Earth Science Week celebration (October 14-20, 2018) will emphasize artistic expression as a unique, powerful opportunity for geoscience education and understanding in the 21st century. Copies of the “Earth as Inspiration” Earth Science Week Toolkit are free, and available for the cost of shipping and handling in the U.S. To order your Toolkits, please visit www.earthsciweek.org/materials.
In collaboration with the Ohio Industrial Minerals & Aggregates Association and Ohio Aglime Council, MEC produced the “From Quarry To Crop” set of resources. The set includes a postcard and a calendar page in the Earth Science Week Toolkit, plus the activity and videos below. These resources let students experience one of the ways our food requires both farming and mining.
Students will create different types of soil conditions, plant seeds and observe growth under each condition to assess the importance of pH to crop growth.
This step-by-step video demonstrates the “From Quarry To Crop: Growing More With Aglime” hands-on activity above.
Aglime is natural, finely crushed limestone and dolomite rock. Aglime reduces the acidity of the soil, decreases the amount of fertilizer and herbicide needed, and improves water drainage and the growth of beneficial microorganisms.
Example: Put “quarry,” “crop” or “aglime” in the Content Search “Search Term” box and check “include summary in search” to get information about these activities. Then you can choose from your state standards, or national standards such as Common Core or Next Generation Science Standards.
Determining Mineral Reserves Activity
This activity explores the physical testing, calculations and scientific methods commonly used to determine the quantity of mineral reserves.
2017 Theme: “Earth and Human Activity”
The 20th annual Earth Science Week celebration (October 8-14, 2017) will promote awareness of what geoscience tells us about human interaction with the planet’s natural systems and processes. Copies of the “Earth and Human Activity” Earth Science Week Toolkit are free, and available for the cost of shipping and handling in the U.S. To order your Toolkits, please visit www.earthsciweek.org/materials.
MEC’s new “What’s In My Toothpaste?” game, with glossy game board, is part of the AGI Earth Science Week Toolkit, along with the “A Paste With A Taste” calendar activity adapted with permission from Women in Mining. Click the image of the game board to download a sample PDF of the “What’s in My Toothpaste?” Game.
2016 Theme: “Our Shared Geoheritage”
Explore how mining has contributed to “Our Shared Geoheritage” with examples of how exploration for natural resources has shaped our world through these MEC resources:
The colorful MEC Mining and Money Catcher is a fun, interactive that students can fold and play with as they learn about the interrelated history of mining and the money we use every day.
The MEC page from the 2017 AGI Earth Science Week Calendar is a Density Activity adapted with permission from the Nevada Mining Association. The greater density of gold allows it to be separated from sediment in gold panning.
The rolling, responsive MEC Mining and Money Timeline above illustrates mining and money milestones from 1785 through the present, including the interrelated locations of the United States Mint.
2015 Theme: “Visualizing Earth’s Systems”
Three MEC bookmarks show the three processes in mining through the eyes of an exploration geologist (Exploration), mining engineer (Mining), and environmental engineer (Reclamation). Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM subjects) are used by mining professionals throughout the industry.
Purchase bookmark sets in individual sleeves here.
The MEC page from the 2016 AGI Earth Science Week Calendar is Reclaiming a Mine Site with permission from Caterpillar. The activity instructs students how to create a model reclaimed landscape in a plastic tub. As the students observe the growth of vegetation on one of eight model landscapes, they learn that specific conditions are needed to re-vegetate reclaimed mine sites. To view the Caterpillar Ground Rules video and access the accompanying 75-activity guide go to Caterpillar Ground Rules video and curriculum.
MEC recorded interviews with scientists and engineers in the mining industry to reinforce the messages presented to educators in MEC’s Earth Science Week bookmarks and calendar activity: how interest in STEM subjects can lead to a rewarding career in the mining industry. These interviews are available here.
2014 Theme: “Earth’s Interconnected Systems”
The colorful MEC Aggregates Poster has four 8 1/2 x 11 size K-12 lessons on the reverse side. Sand, gravel and crushed stone are the most mined materials in the world. Purchase the poster here.
The MEC page from the 2015 AGI Earth Science Week Calendar is Aggregates Matter. Students compare concrete mixes containing different amounts and types of aggregates and test the strength of the hardened mixes.
2013 Theme: “Mapping Our World”
MEC provided a fold-out of the Soccer Minerals Mini-lesson for 2013 AGI Earth Science Week Tookit.
The MEC page from the 2014 AGI Earth Science Week Calendar is Mineral Electrical Conductivity. Students test the conductivity of various minerals with a simple electrical circuit and draw conclusions about which ones would be used in electronics.