The Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association has been recognized for developing an innovative and multi-faceted minerals education program that promotes awareness of the need for aggregate, rock, and mineral resources.
It is one of two recipients of the the Interstate Mining Compact Commission‘s 2016 annual minerals education award.
In 2012, the association entered into a partnership with the Miami County (Ohio) Park District to provide book bags and educational rock box kits to children in area schools as a reward for completing the “Family Quest Nature Program.”
Later, the association helped to develop, and participated in, the park district’s annual week-long “Hug the Earth” program in May, where children from local school districts are bused in throughout the day to rotate between various activities. On the Saturday following the week-long program, the school children are encouraged to bring their families to “Family Day.”
The “Hug the Earth” education program was developed to be informative and entertaining for participants, offering new and innovative activities to engage children in learning while having fun. For the “Rock and Mineral Dig” activity, children are given buckets and shovels and an allotted amount of time to “mine” for and identify rocks and minerals using an identification panel developed by the association, and learn how they are used in their daily lives.
the association members and volunteers present an interactive skit as part of the “Rock On! Or, If it Can’t be Grown it has to be Mined” activity to help children identify which materials found in the home are mined or grown. A new interactive PowerPoint activity titled, “What’s Under the Rock?” was added in 2015 featuring “Roxie the Dog” to help children distinguish between items that come from mining or are grown.
The association also works with Wright State University’s Departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Teacher Education on Project Stone (Science Teaching for Ohio’s New Economy), a nationally recognized award-winning professional development program.
Teachers of grades K-12 attend a two-week summer workshop to learn how to infuse earth science content into inquiry science lessons and other curriculum; what career opportunities are available for students in the field of earth science; how to connect with professional earth science practitioners for classroom resources, career days, and field experiences for teachers and students; and how to develop, assess, and report on an inquiry-based activity teachers develop for their classroom during the academic year.
Participants can receive three semester hours of graduate credit through the university at a cost, or non-credit hours at no charge. Free lodging is provided for participants living more than 60 miles from the campus, and teachers receive a stipend for participating.
Watch this video about Project Stone on the association’s website.