Since the concept and plans for the University of Arizona’s Mineral, Mining, & Natural Resources Education Museum are still under development, volunteer opportunities involving the new museum are somewhat limited at this time. However, you can help with two on-going ESM activities.
The first activity involves a science resource lending library for Title 1 schools in the Phoenix area.
Our educational outreach program served only a limited number of these schools, and through this interaction we learned that the Title 1 schools face significant challenges with limited to almost no science education resources and high teacher turnover. As a result, the ESM applied for and received a grant from the Staples Foundation to establish a lending library of educational materials that will be managed through school districts. We are piloting this program with the Roosevelt School District, and hands-on kits of minerals, rocks, and fossils represent the first library offering. Volunteers are needed to help with developing and assembling such kits.
Community outreach events are another area for volunteer involvement.
The Flagg Gem & Mineral Show, which is typically held during first weekend in January, represents are our largest event. The ESM is continuing the “egg carton” program which was started by the Arizona Leaverite Rock & Gem Society. For one dollar, students can build their own personal collection of twelve rocks, minerals, or fossils. Each sample has a label identifying the specimen and its locality. Help is needed in guiding students with their collections and in ensuring that items are properly labeled. The ESM also sets up a sales booth and a free fluorescent mineral display at the Flagg Show. Both activities are very popular, and volunteers are needed during the three day event.