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Encourage Hands-On Exploration with Digital Interactives from Dig Into Mining

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The following is a new blog post related to education and teaching and relevant to our website visitors. The blog post is not based on the opinions or values of our company but is related to education and teaching, so we wanted to share it with YOU! If you ever have any questions please let us know. Now… on to the post!

Do your students understand the “reclamation process” or how land is restored for a sustainable future? Do your students recognize the role of transition metals, like copper, in the products they use everyday, from seat belts to smartphones? Give students an opportunity to take STEM learning to the next level with digital interactive explorations from Dig Into Mining – The Story of Copper, an interactive educational program for students grades 6-12 that uncovers the use of metals such as copper in our everyday life, and provides students a deeper understanding of today’s hard rock mining industry.

The program features seven explorations that offer students a self-paced, deeper dive into how STEM and analytical skills are used to solve real-world problems in today’s mining industry.

In Dig a Little Deeper, a virtual lab that has been designed as an authentic, problem-based learning simulation focused on the exploration phase of the mining process, students will be challenged to choose from three possible sites on which to mine for copper. To help them choose a site, students will assume the roles of a geologist, an environmental scientist, and a mining engineer. Students may go through each of the tests individually or as a part of a team. Within each career lens, students will develop an authentic research question, evaluate/test data, and analyze the results. All three sites will have benefits and trade-offs. Once all data is collected, students will make and justify a recommendation, based on the evidence they’ve uncovered throughout.

The Dig into Mining Careers Exploration gives high school students the opportunities to explore specific careers in the mining industry, providing a curated list of recommended careers based on their interests, preferences, hobbies and skills in twelve key areas. The list of in-demand mining careers matching their responses will help students discover new pathways for future success. The program’s career profiles, featuring a video highlighting a Freeport-McMoran professional in their work environment and an accompanying career guide, can also be used to give students a more in-depth perspective on careers in mining.  

Virtual simulation Aim to Reclaim gives students the opportunity to explore the reclamation process and discover how land is restored to create a more sustainable future. Observations and learnings about the different types of careers involved are introduced throughout the virtual lab, and decision points are built in to allow students to better understand the complexity of the reclamation process.

And that’s just the beginning! Other digital explorations available through the program explore related topics, including the usage of copper in electric and hybrid vehicles, the stages of copper processing, and the operations of a real mining site, including examining the technology and equipment used during the copper extraction, processing and refinement phases of mining.

Inspire your students to consider today’s mining industry as a possible career pathway, and expand their understanding of the impact of metals such as copper on everyday life! Find these resources and more at or on the Dig into Mining channel in Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform.


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