– Immersive Online Destination, “Dig Into Mining: The Story of Copper,” Launches with Dynamic Interactive Learning Tools, Classroom Extensions and At-Home Resources to Engage Middle School Students & Their Families –

SILVER SPRING, Md. (August 20, 2014) –Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, and Freeport-McMoRan, a leading international natural resource company, announced today the launch of a new STEM-focused program, “Dig Into Mining: The Story of Copper,” designed to empower and inspire middle school students to explore the world of copper and give them an in-depth look at the earth’s natural resources.

Dig Into Mining: The Story of Copper provides middle-school students with a first-hand, real-world look into how the earth’s resources shape the world geologically, societally and economically. The wide range of innovative program components highlight natural resources such as copper, gold and molybdenum, and explain how these metals are relevant in everyday life. Additionally, the program highlights the STEM career paths available in the rapidly growing industry.

“As an educator, I am thrilled to provide resources to my students that showcase the relevance and importance of science all around them,” said Patti Grammens, teacher at Lakeside Middle School, Forsyth County Schools. “With growing opportunities in the field, it is important to provide the future workforce generation with essential STEM skills needed to succeed in this industry.”

The new, comprehensive program features a powerful combination of resources including:
•Interactive digital learning tools: The program’s digital learning tools include a complete suite of free educator resources for 6th – 8th grade classrooms, aligned to national education standards, which provide key STEM, critical thinking and problem-solving skills for students. From alarm clocks to smartphones, a digital exploration widget on the program’s site allows students to understand the important role transition metals play in our lives. The virtual lab offers an authentic learning simulation for students focusing on the exploration of earth’s resources. During the virtual lab, students assume the role of various industry careers at three different sites to determine the best location to find copper.

•Program extensions: Designed to equip educators and students with a series of dynamic tools supporting the site’s key concepts, classroom extensions include various STEM-focused project-based activities that link mining elements to students’ daily lives and encourage students to tackle real-world challenges. Dig Into Mining: The Story of Copper’s family extensions encourage students to share their classroom learnings with family members at home through insightful conversations about geology and the earth, and explore how natural metals are relevant in their daily lives. The parent extension includes a career worksheet where students can match their skills and interests to exciting opportunities within the copper industry.

“The copper industry is a dynamic field full of exciting potential,” said Tracy Bame, President of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. “Through the engaging resources available on Dig Into Mining: The Story of Copper, we hope to stimulate students’ curiosity about geology and natural resources, and kick-start their excitement and understanding about possible careers in the industry, while at the same time providing a tool that strengthens their understanding of math and science concepts in a real-life application. Sparking students’ interest early is essential to ensuring a strong future generation of talent to fill the growing demand in this field. We believe there are hundreds of budding engineers, geologists, environmental scientists, chemists, electricians and technicians out there waiting to learn about the fascinating world of mining.”

For more information on the program or to access the site’s free resources, visit: www.digintomining.com.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.


About the Author:

Abi Mandelbaum

Abi Mandelbaum is CEO of YouVisit.