Hands-on programs
Programs based on the ERC hands-on kits, or special curricula such as NanoEd, GLOBE, or Project WET are conducted to support the science Standards of Learning (SOLs) for Virginia schools.  They can also be appropriate for youth groups such as 4-H or Scouts.

Geoscience Teaching Materials in the Education Resource Center (ERC)
Geoscience teaching kits, materials, and activities are available for loan for use in classroom or outreach programs. Topics include: "What is a Mineral?", "What is in a Rock?", "Rocks of the Blacksburg Area", "Geologic Timeline", "Mineral Hardness", and "Fluorescent Minerals".

Workshops and Continuing Education
Courses and projects involve teachers and other professionals in academic, field, and laboratory knowledge-building.  Internships, CEUs, graduate, and undergraduate credit may be available. Workshops are offered for national environmental education and citizen science programs that involve real-world data collection and field work.  Examples include: 
GLOBE; Project WET; Healthy Water, Healthy People; Save Our Streams (SOS)

Visits by geoscientists to classrooms, meetings, and events
Students and faculty can present general geoscience topics as well as their own research expertise (click on the searchable function to select area of interest).

Student professional development
Training is offered to geoscience undergraduates who want the opportunity to share their enthusiasm for earth science with youth groups.  They may lead tours of departmental facilities (including the Museum of Geosciences); conduct hands-on activities with K-12 students; or develop materials for the ERC, public programs, or the web.

Courses, Internships, and Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
Courses and projects involve Geosciences majors and non-majors from VT and other institutions in academic, field, and laboratory experiences.  Internships, CEUs, graduate, and undergraduate credit available. 

The Science Outreach Program (SOuP) in the College of Science is an interdisciplinary bridge for research and public outreach, with a mission to help fund VT research proposals by developing education and broader impact products primarily for the regional and statewide K-12 community.

SOuP's MINTS Project was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to encourage hands-on, inquiry-based science using local environments. The MINTS Book is still a much requested resource for those working to encourage outdoor learning for youth. MINTS can be used to support the The Children and Nature Network and the No Child Left Inside Act (2009 H.R. 2054).
Click to download The MINTS Book 6mb.pdf : please credit as appropriate. Be sure to read the Introduction and Chapter 1 before diving in, and don't miss the example lessons and data sheets back in Chapter 7. We also appreciate hearing about how it is being used. (please contact Llyn)

Geosciences is a charter member of VT-STEM, a university-wide outreach initiative in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) intended to contribute to Virginia's leadership in K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

Virginia Tech | Dept. of Geosciences