Published On: 11/24/2015

SME students participate in K-12 outreach contest

Student chapters of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) worldwide were challenged to compete with each other to reach the greatest number of K-12 school children in one academic year with the message about the importance of mining and minerals in their everyday lives. Teams of five student members visited local K-12 classrooms to give presentations utilizing Minerals Education Coalition (MEC) resources, including the PowerPoint presentation entitled “The Importance of Minerals and Mining” developed by SME member Dr. Kenneth Reid.

The University of Arizona SME Student Chapter is congratulated for their victory in this first annual student outreach challenge. With guidance from faculty advisor Dr. Mary Poulton and industry advisor Pamela Wilkinson, the team made 26 presentations reaching nearly 900 students. The winning team was presented with a cash prize and a travel allowance to attend the SME Annual Conference & Expo in Denver, CO, February 2015.

“In addition to providing educators with curriculum that can be incorporated into lesson plans, SME student members bring an energy and enthusiasm into the classroom setting, often bringing their hard hats and clothing worn underground, along with respirators and other personal protection equipment for visual emphasis of their message, ‘If it can’t be grown, it must be mined’,” said SME Executive Director David L. Kanagy.

Dr. Poulton (left) is pictured with winning team members (l-r) Dakota Doyle, Ericka Tucker, David Kijewski, Mara Erhardt and Megan Naff.

Participating student chapters each received a starter mineral kit and were encouraged to review the MEC website for additional resources to be used during their presentations. Chapters were also responsible for analysis and reporting the results of questionnaires distributed to the class following their presentations. SME currently has 39 student chapters, including international chapters in Columbia, Chile, Peru, India, Canada, Mexico and the Netherlands.

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is a professional society (nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation) whose more than 15,000 membership represents all professionals serving the minerals industry in more than 100 countries. SME members include engineers, geologists, metallurgists, educators, students and researchers. SME advances the worldwide mining and underground construction community through information exchange and professional development. SME's staff is located in Englewood, Colorado.

For more information contact John Hayden, Deputy Executive Director - Public Affairs and Government Relations, at (303) 948-4250 or