GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 39-10
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM


MOOSAVI, Sadredin C., Science, Rochester Community Technical College, 851 30th Avenue SE, Rochester, MN 55904 and FRIEDERICH, Hannah, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155,

The Minnesota Mineral Education Workshop (MMEW) is a professional development workshop for K-12 In-Service Teachers. MMEW is staged by a loose consortium of academic geoscientists, master teachers, state agencies and industry partners working in harmony to provide teachers with professional development related to Earth resources and the geologic processes and history which created the Minnesota landscape. The 3-day summer workshop site moves around the state, alternating between N. MN Precambrian shield rocks famous for their iron mines and S. MN till covered Paleozoic sedimentary rocks with their dolomite, frac sand and aggregate mines. Attendance over several years affords teachers the opportunity to get field experience and access to industry facilities representing 3.6 billion years of geologic history.

Each workshop begins with teachers choosing 4 of 16 75-minute short courses on topics such as rock id, climate change and mine remediation taught by expert master teachers, academic geoscientists and specialists from industry and the MN Geologic Survey and Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR). The short courses focus on content and resources that can be translated directly into classrooms. Each workshop also includes a keynote presentation on key geologic issues of the region. The initial day program is followed by 2 days of field trips to key geologic outcrops, quarries, mines, and processing facilities representative of the region. These trips represent the only opportunity most teachers have to gain first hand knowledge of how industry operates. Teachers can walk away from the workshop with boxes of classroom resources, hundreds of pictures, and trunks full of samples they have personally collected for use in teaching about local geologic resources and career options in the geosciences.

MMEW’s successful track record over 20 years results from tight cooperation with local industry providing access to their facilities and funding for transportation and housing, academic institutions hosting the workshop and the DNR and academic geoscientists providing logistics. Teachers attend MMEW with GSA quality field trips for little more than the cost of driving to the host site and a $40 fee. This presentation will examine MMEW as a model for other states seeking to support their own teacher professional development.