Minnesota Minerals Education Workshop


20th Annual MMEW

June 20-22, 2017

Vermillion Community College

Ely, MN


Registration Link

Early Registration Deadline - registration fees increase
Deadline for requesting refunds for registration and dorm rooms


General Information
Workshop Schedule
Short Course Offerings
Field Trips
Tuesday Night Event
Certificate of Participation
More Information
Campus Map


General Information:

The MMEW is a three-day workshop for K-12 Earth Science educators and pre-service teachers that offers short courses and field trips focused on the geology and mineral resources of Minnesota. The upcoming 20th annual MMEW will be held June 20-22, 2017 at Vermilion Community College, Ely, MN.  On the first day of the workshop, participants may choose among 16 different short course topics taught by professional geologists, academics, government scientists, and K-12 educators.  Many of the courses introduce curriculum ideas for various grade levels. The second and third days of the workshop will involve field trips designed to familiarize participants with the geology and mineral resources in northeastern Minnesota.  


Participants will receive a variety of resource materials including rock and mineral samples, lesson plan ideas, posters, maps, videos, and other useful information.   Upon completion of the workshop, attendees will be provided with a certificate of participation indicating total contact hours. 

Workshop Schedule:

The schedule of events for the three-day workshop is listed below. The registration table will be located by the museum. All short courses will take place in classrooms in the southeastern wing of Vermilion Community College, VCC. The classrooms include: CL110, CL122, CL124, CL126, CL128. Group gatherings will be in FA105. Breakfast each day and lunch on Tuesday will be taken in the CC105 (see campus map).

Tuesday, June 20

7:00-8:15 Breakfast Buffett (CC105), Registration (near Museum)
8:20-8:30 Welcome and Introductions (FA)
8:35-9:50 Short Course Session 1
9:50-10:00 Morning Break (Museum area)
10:00-11:15 Short Course Session 2
11:20-12:00 Midday Presentation (FA)   Jim Miller, UMN-Duluth (ret.)  
       Talk Title: The Goal of K-12 Earth Science Education: Creating Storytellers and Stewards

12:05-1:15 Lunch Buffet (CC105)
1:30-2:45 Short Course Session 3
2:45-3:00 Afternoon Break (Museum area)
3:00-4:15 Short Course Session 4
4:15-4:45 Overview of Tuesday evening activity and Wed/Thurs Field Trips (FA)
4:45-5:00 Collect Materials for Resources Bag (classroom TBD)
5:00-5:50 Break
5:50-6:00 Board bus at Vermilion Hall
6:00-6:30 Drive to evening activity  
6:30-8:30 Picnic Dinner and Presentation
        Guide: TBD,  
8:30-9:00 Bus returns to Vermilion Hall

Wednesday, June 21

7:00-7:45 Breakfast (CC105)
8:00 Depart VCC (near dorms) for field trips.
5:00 Return to VCC; Dinner on own;

Thursday, June 22

7:00-7:45 Breakfast (CC105)
8:00 Depart VCC (near dorms) for field trips.
4:00 Return to VCC

End of Workshop


This year, registration for the MMEW will be managed through the Eventbrite on-line registration portal. To register, simply click on tab below and select the paid and free ticketed events for which you wish to particpate.


The workshop ticketed events include:

  • Meeting registration of $40/participant ($55 after June 6)

  • dormitory room for 3 nights (50$)

  • Tuesday picnic and tour (free to registrants and children; $10 for adult guests)

The meeting registration fee includes:

  • workshop program and field guidebook

  • teacher resource materials including digital resources, rock and mineral samples, posters, maps and more!

  • bus transportation for field trips and Tuesday evening tour

  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and Tuesday picnic dinner

The Eventbrite site requires payment by credit card. Cancellations and refunds will be allowed up to June 8th.

Short Course Offerings:

Teachers can view short course descriptions in a pdf file here.

New this year is the 'Interpreting the Environment of the Past' track.  Teachers are strongly encouraged to enroll in the entire track.

Registrants are asked to make their primary and secondary selection of short courses they wish to participate in for each of the four session. To do this:

1) Download the short course selection form (in pdf format),

2) Fill in your personal information and select your first and second course for each time session.

3) Submit your selection form by email to Hannah Friedrich - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; write "MMEW Course Selections" in the subject line.

Field Trips:

Two days of field trips are designed to familiarize participants with the diverse geology and mineral resources in northeastern Minnesota.  Ely is perfectly situated to explore three major geologic terranes: 1) the 2.6 billion year old granite-greenstone terrane, which includes the Ely greenstone and the Soudan Iron-formation; 2) the 1.85 billion year old iron formation of the Mesabi Range; and 3) the 1.1 billion year old gabbros of the Duluth Complex, which hosts world-class copper+nickel deposits.

Field trip highlights will include an underground tour of the Soudan Mine State Park, a tour of the North Shore Mining’s Peter Mitchell mine near Babbitt, and a tour of Twin Metal drill core facility in Ely to view copper-nickel mineralized drill core from the Duluth Complex.  Transportation by coach bus and box lunches will be provided.  Trips will leave from and return to the Vermilion Community College campus.

Tuesday Night Event:

To be determined


Vermilion Student Housing, 50$ for 3 nights

Each room is double occupancy and multiple rooms share a bathroom and living area. You will need to bring a pillow, bedding, and a towel. If you wish to choose your roommate notify Hannah Friedrich (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  

Outdoor Learning Center  110$ for 3 nights

These 3-season cabins are maintained by the college and are located 4 miles from campus. You are responsible for your own transportation.  Each room is single occupancy with the potential for shared rooms. Each cabin has communal bathrooms. You will need to bring a pillow, bedding, and a towel.

Local Motel Options

Ample lodging options exist in and around Ely. Helpful sites that have many regional listings are:  



Tent sites are available at Vermilion Community College for free. Facilities, bathroom and showers are located a short walk from the tenting area. Tents can be set up between Vermilion Hall and the museum and theater building.

Electric sites are available nearby at:
Arrowhead R.V. Resort
2121 E. Camp Street
Ely, MN 55731

Ph: (888) 800-0083

Participation Certificate:

At the end of the workshop, all participants will be given a certificate acknowledging their participation.  The number of contact hours will be listed as 24 for full participation in the short courses and two days of field trips. 

Unfortunately, graduate credit will not be able to be offered again this year.


The reason that the registration costs for this workshop can be held so low is because of the generous contributions by minerals-related industries, professional associations, and individuals to the Minnesota Center for Minerals Resource Education, which oversees the operation of the MMEW.   Contributors to the 2017 workshop as of March, 1 2017* include:

List of Contributors (Jan 2017)

Conveyor Belt Service

Mars Supply


ArcelorMittal USA, Inc

Rendrag, Inc.

Jasper Engineering & Equipment

Larkin Hoffman

Peder Larson

Thibodeau, Johnson & Feriancek

Marine Tech

*A more complete list of contributors will be distributed at the workshop.

In addition to financial support, many governmental agencies, academic institutions, and companies allow their staffs to contribute time to the planning and production of the workshop and often cover their expenses.  These include:

Finally, we want to thank the private companies and public organizations are providing tours of their facilities for the field trips.



Since its inception in 1997, the MMEW has relied upon individual geoscientists from academia, industry and government to volunteer their time and expertise to what we all believe is an important and valuable endeavor.   Listed below is an incomplete list of volunteers who will contribute to this year’s MMEW and the roles they will play.




Hannah Friedrich

MN Department of Natural Resources

Workshop Planning

Brian Allison

Delano Schools, Teacher

Website Maintenance

George Hudak


Field Trip Leader

Jim Miller

University of Minnesota Duluth (retired)

Field Trip Leader, Instructor

Kurt Doran



Paul Eickenberg

Braun Intertec Corp


Paul Eger

Global Minerals Engineering


Karl Everett

Biosar America


Jacqueline Hamilton

MN Geological Survey


Andrea Reed

MN Department of Natural Resources


Katy Loftquist

Iron Mining Association of Minnesota


Julie Marinucci



Dean Moosavi

Rochester Community College

Instructor, Track series

Christina Morrison

Tiller Corp.


Bruce Olson

MN Department of Health (retired)


Phil Larson

Vesterheim Geoscience


Cheryl Sill



Sara Welna



Stephanie Theriault

Barr Engineering


Ken Reid

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (retired)


Scott Alexander

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities


Kevin Hanson

MN Department of Natural Resources


Meghan Blair

Barr Engineering



Hannah Friedrich (651-259-5953), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Campus Map: