Award-winning Program Offers 21 Texas Science Teachers a Look into the Uranium Mining World
As part of the workshop, teachers will learn from industry experts about the nuclear fuel cycle, industry regulation, mining exploration and extraction techniques, groundwater restoration and land reclamation. A highlight of the workshop is a tour of the Energy Fuels Resources (USA) Alta Mesa uranium plant in Brooks County.
“TMRA is committed to providing a first-class, unique-in-the nation, fact-based program, filling a critical void in science-based education,” said Francye Hutchins, education director of TMRA. “By touring our member companies' sites, educators can see for themselves how mining is actually done, along with the industry's commitment to providing a much-needed resource while protecting the environment through advanced techniques and technologies.”
The uranium mining workshop is one of three mining industry workshops offered each summer by the TMRA Teacher Workshop Program. Texas teachers learn science-based information on the availability, importance and development of natural resources, including lignite, uranium and industrial minerals. During these week-long sessions, teachers tour mining and power plant facilities, visit reclamation areas and participate in hands-on labs. They also learn about future employment opportunities in the mining industry for their students. Teachers return to their classrooms with earth science facts and real-world, problem-solving activities that encourage students to use critical thinking skills.
During a workshop, each teacher receives approx. 40-45 hours of professional development taught by scientists, academics and accredited industry professionals. The program is aligned with state requirements, meeting the majority of new education standards for earth science through all grade levels, providing a vehicle for teachers to receive firsthand knowledge of how natural resources are developed and used. It augments education requirements, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the corresponding State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). Additionally, workshop participants leave with curriculum, e-logs and cross sections, instructional and informative PowerPoints and activity equipment – all of which can be used in their classrooms. TMRA has assisted and provided advice to several other organizations to establish similar programs.
Through this award-winning program – more than one million students so far have now heard the true story of Texas mining and reclamation, with more than 1,650 teachers attending since 1991, each reaching approximately 130-150 students annually. The program is recognized by the Governor's Conference on Math, Science and Technology, certified by the Texas Environmental Education Advisory Council and is a professional development provider by the State Board of Education Certification.
The Texas Mining and Reclamation Association (TMRA) is a single voice for the Texas mining industry that exhibits integrity, clarity and vision in its efforts to create a balance between mineral production, environmental protection, economic strength and public welfare and to inform the public, regulators and legislators of the value of mining to the Texas economy and lifestyle. For more information about how to apply for future workshops, please visit www.tmra.com.