The Women In Mining Education Foundation (WIMEF) is a non-profit educational organization under Internal Revenue Service 501(c) 3 guidelines and receives funding through grants and tax-deductible individual gifts. WIMEF was granted 501(c)3 status by IRS in 1993 to pursue the opportunity of educating others about the importance of the minerals industry to our daily lives as well as our economy.
WIMEF’s motto: “If it can’t be grown, it has to be mined.”
Our mission is accomplished through the distribution of classroom activities, earth science information to teachers and hands-on activities training in workshops. Distribution is accomplished through direct mailing, booths at various conventions, workshops, and the Internet. Educators who do not have Internet access can request free educational packets from the WIM Education Foundation by sending their request on school letterhead.
Sheree M. Tibbals
Education Foundation History
Many Women in Mining (WIM) members were involved in mineral education at the local level since the early 80’s. The need for accurate educational material for teachers was intensified in 1991 when we staffed a booth in Reno, Nevada for a National Science Teacher Association convention. The overwhelming number of visitors to that booth convinced us that teachers needed information on earth science and mining in a simple, inexpensive and integrated form. We began collecting and distributing these activities to teachers upon request. Along with requests for the material, numerous inquiries about providing workshops to demonstrate the use of the activities were received.
The National Organization realized that a formal Education arm was going to have to be formed that would enable the group to apply for grants and work began in late 1991 to investigate the best way to accomplish this. By 1992, a committee was assigned and an attorney on board to help guide us through the maze of forming an official Education Foundation with its own Board of Directors, by-laws and legal status.
We began doing workshops then short courses at the regional NSTA conferences as well as helping with the rock and mineral booths in the exhibit halls of these conferences. The samples from these booths are used in the class or the Foundation provides samples to each one attending. For further information on these exhibit booths go to the Minerals Education Coalition tab.
Many activities are available on-line at our Website, www.womeninmining.org, and others are added as they are reviewed. WIMEF is available to help you get started in providing classes to teachers, scouts, civic leaders, company employees and others in your area. We feel that the more people we teach who share with others in their area our message will be spread quicker in their community, district, or state. Our organization can provide the instructors, material and other support needed to assure those in attendance are comfortable with the basic concept of each activity, and how it can fit into other curriculums as well as the new Science Standards.
Through WIMEF’s success at the NSTA conventions we have presented similar classes across the United States for other organizations. Our longer sessions allow those participating to obtain credit from a local university or college, and when possible, a mine tour, a processing facility, geology site, or power plant is included…
An important part of each workshop is to bring the minerals industry to attendee’s everyday life by showing the many products made from each mineral and/or rock provided. A simple way is to put out a variety of products, such as gum, aspirin, roofing shingles, Tums, crayons, paper, etc., out and have the group match these to the mineral/rock samples provided. Most people are amazed how much mining impacts their daily lives. The other unique aspect of the workshops is the utilization of industry people when available as instructors. This assures that questions about the industry are answered in an accurate manner.
The environmental issue with mining is brought into our workshops through hands-on activities and we explain the many safeguards in place in modern mining. Today’s mining companies are working with many State and Federal agencies to rectify the problems left by earlier abandoned mines. Like other industries in the past, these environmental problems were not known. The permitting process and required reports on air, water and ground in and around modern mines is very involved and monitored to make sure no hazards are left when active mining is completed.
WIMEF has developed many new activities to help people understand various aspects of modern mining and we are proud that NSTA has selected many of these activities for their SciLinks program. This is a joint effort by textbook publishers and NSTA so educators know these activities are geared to the National Standards. Most of our activities can be integrated into other curriculum, are fun for students, easy and inexpensive for teachers to do in their classroom and are aligned with National Standards in several subjects.
The Board of Directors of Women In Mining Education Foundation hopes that you use the material on this site and bring Earth Science into your home or classroom and encourage all young people to investigate the many rewarding careers available to any of them. If you have any questions or suggestions for the site please feel free to contact us.