Devil in the Details


Teaching Products

"If it can't be grown, it has to be mined." This slogan is the centerpiece of a "Teacher Helper" packet on earth science produced by the Mineral Information Institute (MII), a nonprofit organization founded by several mining companies and trade groups to distribute free classroom materials to schools nationwide. Did you know that over its lifetime, a baby will need 579,655 pounds of coal? Or that "[w]hen a mine is finished, it will be reclaimed so it can be used again, either by man or by nature"? MII even offers teachers a special deal: Show your class the video Common Ground: Modern Mining and You, ask your students to write stories or draw pictures related to mining, bring those projects to a local mining center, and you'll receive $100 for your classroom. MII brags that over 27,000 teachers receive its materials.

MII is just one of the many organizations that produce corporate "sponsored educational materials," or SEMs

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