About MEC

The Minerals Education Coalition (MEC) is the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Foundation’s designated program to develop and deliver accurate and timely K-12 education materials and activities and conduct public awareness outreach about mining and minerals. The MEC is the successor entity of the Mineral Information Institute (Mii) which was merged with SME as of November 1, 2008 and SME’s Government, Education and Mining (GEM) program.

MEC Staff
Minerals Education Coalition Committee
MEC Sub-Committees
MEC Awards
MEC Programs and Activities
MEC Supporters
Donate to the MEC
Volunteer for the MEC


The Minerals Education Coalition will succeed in generating an enlightened and supportive public that appreciates the importance of mining and minerals to their lives and to their lifestyles.


The Minerals Education Coalition’s mission is to identify, produce and disseminate fact-based K-12 minerals education lessons and activities and to inform and educate the general public about the importance of mining in their everyday lives.


Several distinct, yet equally important groups are the targeted audiences for the activities of MEC, specifically:

  • K-12 students who are the consumers of the future and potential employees of the mining industry;
  • Teachers of K-12 students who will provide the knowledge and skills needed to provide factual and meaningful instruction and experiences for youth;
  • SME members in Sections who locally provide accurate and relevant educational activities for K-12 students and the general public; and,
  • The general public who are the beneficiaries of mining and minerals in their daily lives.


  • Identify and develop factual and relevant K-12 curriculum and supplemental materials about mining and minerals.
  • Provide MEC’s and other MEC endorsed factual and relevant K-12 curriculum and materials about mining and minerals to teachers and other educators. These may be free of charge and/or sold at reasonable cost.
  • Conduct workshops, webinars, conferences, etc. to train educators and others interested in mining and minerals education on the use of MEC curriculum and materials.
  • Provide educational materials to SME members through SME Sections’ MEC Committees for their use in community settings.
  • Provide materials and support for SME Student Chapters to conduct K-12 and public awareness outreach.
  • Introduce SME members to available K-12 and public outreach activities and materials about mining and minerals at the SME Annual Meeting and Expo.
  • Encourage exchanges of successful practices among MEC Section Committees using the MEC Community on the SME website, in publications and at SME meetings and conferences.
  • Solicit best practices in K-12 mining and minerals education which will be featured as linked resources on the MEC website.
  • Serve as a resource by identifying and linking all appropriate resource providers of K-12 mining and minerals education on the MEC website.
  • Maintain a vibrant and informational website for use by various constituencies (i.e., students, teachers, other educators, general public, elected officials, corporations, foundations, SME members, etc.).
  • Report the usage of MEC’s programs and activities and their effectiveness.
  • Conduct periodic sample surveys of students’, educators’ and the general public’s knowledge and attitudes about mining and the importance of minerals (based on those who are in contact with the MEC and/or the beneficiaries of products and activities of the MEC).
  • Maintain an accurate database of individuals and organizations purchasing MEC materials, attending trainings and programs, and accessing the website.
  • Analyze, use and report data to determine best uses of the MEC’s limited resources.
  • Maintain and enhance existing relationships with other groups and agencies as well as identify, cultivate and sustain new organizational relationships.


    Megan Martin
    Direct Line: (303) 948 – 4217

    Rebecca Smith
    Direct Line: (303) 948 – 4263

    Akudo Nwokeukwu
    Direct Line: (303) 948 – 4221

    Customer Service
    Direct Line: (303) 948 – 4200
    Toll Free: (800) 763-3132

    Minerals Education Coalition
    12999 E Adam Aircraft Circle
    Englewood, CO 80112

    Main Number: (303) 948 – 4200
    Toll Free Number: (800) 763 – 3132
    Fax Number: (303) 948 – 4265




    The Minerals Education Coalition Committee of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Foundation (SMEF) is comprised of SME members with a commitment to actively participating in fulfilling the MEC’s mission. The Committee provides the MEC with leadership, guidance and coordination with other SMEF Committees and assists with fundraising and public outreach as appropriate on behalf of the MEC.


    The Membership Nomination Sub-Committee is to identify potential candidates and accept nominations of SME members to serve on the MEC Committee.

    The MEC Officer Nomination Sub-Committee is to identify potential candidates and accept nominations for Vice Chair of the Committee from within Committee membership.

    The MEC Awards Nomination Sub-Committee is for the purpose of reviewing Award nominations received, consulting with the SME Foundation Board of Trustees and SME staff in the selection process, and documenting the justification of individuals selected to receive MEC awards.


    The Minerals Education Coalition will recognize outstanding individuals and organizations who have significantly aided in its activities and programs. The MEC Awards and the awardees are:

    C. Dale and Kathleen B. Elifrits MEC Leadership Award is to honor an individual SME member who has provided leadership to advance the mission of the MEC and has personally been involved in the delivery of its programs and/or activities.

    2022 | James H. Benda
    2021 | Julie Marinucci
    2020 | Charlie Zimmerman
    2019 | Kurt Doran
    2018 | Pamela A. K. Wilkinson
    2017 | Melissa L. H. Martinie
    2016 | Corie Ekholm
    2015 | Ken Reid
    2014 | Angie Harmon
    2013 | Julie Lucas
    2012 | Richard Beach

    MEC SME Organization Recognition Award pays tribute to an SME group effort which has demonstrated active involvement with the MEC’s efforts either through development and use of educational materials with K-12 teachers and students or public outreach and awareness about mining and minerals.

    2019 | SME Northern Minnesota Subsection
    2018 | SME Central Appalachian Section in collaboration with the University of Kentucky Explosives Research Team (UKERT)
    2017 | SME Washington, DC Section
    2016 | SME Colorado Section
    2015 | SME Pittsburgh Section
    2014 | SME Florida Section
    2013 | SME Minnesota Section
    2012 | No award made

    MEC SME Student Chapter Outreach Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of a SME Student Chapter on a college campus and their faculty and industry advisors for their accomplishments in community outreach and mining/mineral education to serve the mission of the MEC.

    2022 | SME Student Chapter – Colorado State University
    2021 | SME Norwood Student Chapter – University of Kentucky
    2020 | SME Norwood Student Chapter – University of Kentucky
    2019 | SME Norwood Student Chapter – University of Kentucky
    2018 | SME Norwood Student Chapter – University of Kentucky
    2017 | Colorado School of Mines
    2016 | SME Norwood Student Chapter – University of Kentucky
    2015 | Universidad National Mayor De San Marcos, Lima, Peru
    2014 | University of Arizona
    2013 | University of Arizona
    2012 | University of Kentucky

    MEC Partnership Appreciation Award acknowledges a non-SME individual or organization which has exemplified support for the MEC’s mission either through development and use of educational materials with K-12 teachers and students or public outreach and awareness about mining and minerals.

    2022 | Minnesota Minerals Education Workshop
    2021 | Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America
    2020 | Kentucky Coal Association – Tyler White
    2019 | Ohio Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA)
    2018 | Minnesota Museum of Mining
    2017 | Minerals Research Laboratory (MRL)
    2016 | Amautas Mineros Association, Peru
    2015 | Daphne LaPointe, NV Bureau of Mines
    2014 | Paradise Valley Unified School District’s MineZone Program, Director Michael Linn
    2013 | Women in Mining Education Foundation
    2012 | Mining Foundation of the Southwest

    For additional information about MEC Awards’ criteria and to submit a nomination for any category, click here.


    Financial support for the MEC’s educational and awareness programs and activities come from a variety of individuals, organizations, corporations and foundations either by donations or grants. All revenue designated for the MEC is used to support the development and dissemination of free educational resources and low-cost supplemental materials.


    The Minerals Education Coalition is able to supply free or very low-cost education materials due to the generosity of our supporters. Our annual outreach on the MEC website, at conferences, in publications, at schools, at professional meetings, in community sites, and many other locations is made possible by those listed in the section above. Your donation will allow us to continue to reach nearly 50,000 teachers in our database and through their efforts hundreds of thousands of students to understand that mining and minerals are critical to our everyday lives and lifestyles.

    To donate to the MEC, visit our Donations page.


    We invite teachers, geologists, engineers, and others involved with either K-12 education or in the minerals and mining industry to help us develop and review new materials and promote them in the community. Whatever your talent, location or available time, the MEC might have a volunteer opportunity for you! We need people who are knowledgeable and excited about helping youth and adults learn about minerals and mining in today’s changing world.

    If you are interested in volunteering for a curriculum-related project, please contact MEC Curriculum Coordinator, Rebecca Smith, at smith@smenet.org.

    If you are interested in volunteering for an outreach program such as staffing an MEC booth at a conference or working with local community efforts on behalf of MEC, please contact MEC Outreach Coordinator, Akudo Nwokeukwu, at nwokeukwu@smenet.org.