About MEC

The Minerals Education Coalition’s (MEC) 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.

Click here to learn more about the Minerals Education Coalition.

MEC Spotlights


 


Mining & Careers Resources

MEC has created a series of mining & minerals career resources to show students how an interest in STEM subjects can lead to a rewarding career in the mining industry.

Find Mining & Career bookmarks and interviews with mining professionals here.

 

 

Partner of the Month

Videos and Presentations

Examine mining and mineral topics with these educational videos and presentations.

MEC Minerals in our electrical world video series
Explore the formation, unique properties, mining and processing techniques and engineering uses of minerals in electrical products essential to our daily lives. These videos from MEC and Edison Tech Center can be paused after each section for further discussion or classroom activities, and are designed to enhance grades 9-12 curricula in geology, chemistry, physics and engineering.

MEC Inside Business Mining Report with Fred Thompson - (5 min.)
This video highlights the importance of mining and minerals and the financial and social investment to ensure that products can be manufactured to meet the needs  of the global population.  Use for grades 9-12.
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MEC The Disconnect on the Importance of Mining - (5 min.)
"If it can't be grown, then it must be mined." This statement applies to EVERYTHING we use in our daily lives. We need to improve public education to help citizens understand the importance of mining.  Use for grades 9-12.
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MEC Mining 101 presentation
Download the PowerPoint presentation
Mining 101 is a 66-slide PowerPoint presentation, created as a teaching tool for your classroom. Divided into three sections, the lessons can be taught in 2-3 days. The lessons have been created for grades 5-12, but can be adapted to any grade or age. By utilizing the extension activities and related MEC resources (listed in the presentation), the possibilities are endless!

GROUND RULES:  MINING FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE VIDEO AND LESSON PLANS
Embark on a 23-minute tour across almost every continent where people are working to produce the minerals on which our modern world depends.  The film, from Caterpillar and Science North, is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French, plus English with Chinese subtitles.  Also choose from the accompanying 75 professionally-developed lesson plans, appropriate for grades 6-12, exploring mining, ore processing, geology, and minerals in everyday life.  The lesson plans are available in English and Spanish.
Ground Rules
Educational Standards details (PDF download)
The Ground Rules film and lesson plans support National Science Education Standards A, B, and D; Next Generation Science Standards PS1, PS2, ESS3, and ETS1; and Common Core State Standards for math and literacy.

SMART, THE INTERNATIONAL EDUCATIONAL PORTAL FROM RIO TINTO
Solve math, science and business questions related to real-world operations in the global mining business.  Copper, coal, iron and uranium are highlighted in these lesson plans and presentations that incorporate math, science, geography, business, careers, and responses to environmental challenges. Rio Tinto and EBC Education Ltd. have created an interactive program for grades 6-12, using actual Rio Tinto mines and operations in Australia to provide the examples and real data used in the activities.
To access the materials, go to the Teachers’ Centre and register and log in so that you can see all of the teacher information, students worksheets and answer keys.   
Teachers’ Centre
Educational Standards 
The Rio Tinto SMART portal lesson plans and presentations support National Science Education Standards A, B, D, E, and F; Next Generation Science Standards PS1, PS4, LS2, ESS3 and ETS1; and Common Core State Standards for literacy and math (including Algebra, Trigonometry, Statistics and Probability, Geometry and High School Functions).

RIO TINTO KENNECOTT UTAH COPPER VIRTUAL TOUR
Take a virtual tour behind-the-scenes of Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah. The mine is the largest excavation on Earth and over its history has produced more copper than any other mine. The Kennecott Bingham Canyon Mine also produces gold, silver and molybdenum. Visit the mine, concentrator, smelter, refinery and other facilities through captioned narration, 360o images, and videos. Learn about environment and sustainability efforts that include the “cleanest smelter in the world,” reusing 80% of their water, and creating the 3000 acre shorebird preserve, LEED buildings and a sustainable community. Content is aimed at grades 6-12, though all ages will enjoy the Virtual Tour.
Note: The virtual tour works best with the latest version of modern browsers Firefox, Explorer and Chrome.
Kennecott Virtual Tour
Educational Standards details (PDF download)
The Kennecott Utah Copper Virtual Tour supports National Science Education Standards B, D, E and F; Next Generation Science Standards ESS3A and C; and Common Core State Standards for literacy.

FROM ORE TO MORE VIDEO
This fun 6-minute video from Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper tells the story of copper from start to finish, through the mining, processing and end uses of copper, complete with great mathematical analogies for the scale of giant sizes and weights.
Content aimed at grades 4-8, though all ages will enjoy the video.
From Ore To More Video
Educational Standards details (PDF download)
The From Ore to More video supports National Science Education Standards D and E; Next Generation Science Standards ESS3 and ETS1; and Common Core State Standards for literacy and math.

NEVADA MINING ASSOCIATION VIRTUAL TOUR
Take a virtual self-guided tour behind-the-scenes of Newmont Mining’s Twin Creeks Gold Mine and Mill. View the mine from an overlook, visit the underground mine (1000 feet below the surface), the gold refinery, process lab, emergency refuge chamber and other facilities through narration, 360o images, and videos. The upper left area has symbols for options like a list of the stops on the tour, a map of the tour, and more information about some of the sites on the tour. Note: The virtual tour works best with the latest version of modern browsers Firefox, Explorer and Chrome. The introductory narration can be silenced with a sound button in the lower right corner area. If this does not work, start again and go directly back to where you were. Content is aimed at grades 6-12, though all ages will enjoy the Virtual Tour.
Nevada Mining Association Virtual Tour
Educational Standards details (PDF download)
The Nevada Mining Association Virtual Tour supports National Science Education Standards B, D, and E; Next Generation Science Standards PS1B, ESS3A and C; and Common Core State Standards for literacy.

NUTRIENTS FOR LIFE VIDEOS AND ACTIVITIES
These videos and activities from Nutrients for Life show the mining of two crucial nutrients for plants—potash for potassium (K) and phosphate for phosphorus (P). For more information and activities on plant nutrients and soil science, see https://www.nutrientsforlife.org/for-teachers.
Educational Standards
These materials support National Science Education Standards B, C, D, and E; Next Generation Science Standards PS1B, LS1A, LS3A, ESS3 A and C and ETS1; and Common Core State Standards for literacy.

POTASH MINING VIDEO
Potash is a common name for salts that contain potassium. Potassium (K) is an important element in human and animal health, and a major nutrient for plant growth and crop yield. This 5-minute video from Nutrients for Life discusses the process of creating usable potash for fertilizer through two different mining techniques for extracting and processing potash ore.
Grades K-12
Potash Mining Video

PHOSPHATE MINING ELEMENTARY VIDEO
Phosphate is an important mineral because it contains phosphorus (P), a key nutrient for plant growth, in addition to human and animal health. This 6-minute video by Nutrients for Life shows the process of mining phosphate rock and processing it for use in fertilizer for crops. The largest phosphate deposits in North America lie in the Bone Valley Region of central Florida. Georgia, Idaho, North Carolina, Montana, Tennessee, Wyoming, South Carolina and Utah also have significant phosphate deposits.
Grades K-5
Phosphate Mining Elementary Video

Accompanying Activities

These simple activities reinforce concepts learned in the phosphate mining video.
Paper Manipulative Activity
Multiple Choice Questions and Writing Prompt

PHOSPHATE MINING MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL VIDEO
Phosphate is an important mineral because it contains phosphorus (P), a key nutrient for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in plants, in addition to humans and animals. This 6 1/2-minute video by Nutrients for Life shows the process of mining phosphate rock and processing it for use in fertilizer for crops. The largest phosphate deposits in North America lie in the Bone Valley Region of central Florida. Georgia, Idaho, North Carolina, Montana, Tennessee, Wyoming, South Carolina and Utah also have significant phosphate deposits.
Grades 6-12
Phosphate Mining Middle School and High School Video

KIMBERLITE PIPE ANIMATION FROM MINERALSED (CANADA)
This animation shows Earth's core and crust and kimberlite pipe zones. It illustrates diamonds being brought to the surface with an igneous intrusion. The animation was created by Diamondex, a diamond exploration and development company in Canada, and is linked courtesy of MineralsEd (Canada).
Note: There is one loud sound in the otherwise silent animation.
Grades 9-12
Kimberlite Pipe Animation
Educational Standards
The Kimberlite Pipe Animation supports National Science Education Standards B, D, and E; Next Generation Science Standards ESS3 A and C; and Common Core State Standards for literacy.

SASKATCHEWAN MINING ASSOCIATION RESOURCES 4 TEACHERS
Tour potash and uranium mines and mills: Potash Corp Below Ground Mine Tour; Potash Corp Above Ground Mill Tour; Cameco Key Lake Mill Virtual Tour; and Cameco MacArthur River Virtual Tour.
Grades K-12
Potash and Uranium Mining and Mill Tours
Educational Standards
These materials support National Science Education Standards: A, B, D, and E; Next Generation Science Standards PS1B, ESS3A and C; and Common Core State Standards for literacy.