CAMMAZ – Coalition of Advocates for Mineral Museums in Arizona
Mission: individuals sharing a common interest in mineral education and museums established The Coalition of Advocates for Mineral Museums in Arizona (CAMMAZ). The purpose is to connect these individuals and organizations that share similar goals. By sharing information, this will enhance the quality of educational programs like “Project Outreach,” which is currently serving the K-12 schools.
Members of CAMMAZ believe mineral education is essential for students to understand the source and nature of minerals that affect their modern lifestyles. Students including adults also need to understand “whatever cannot be grown, must be mined.” If modern science and technology is to progress and benefit mankind, then society must learn to appreciate the essential role of minerals in their daily lives.
Mineral museums are a powerful educational tool. By engaging the student’s senses with color, shape, and crystal structure, this will support the purpose of how minerals are important in everyday life. A visit to a mineral museum will provide students the insight into earth science, which hopefully inspires careers in engineering, math, and technology.
Today, most educators are not provided sufficient earth science education to help their students meet state mandated curriculum. Due to the complexity of minerals and their formation, mineral museums must provide teachers with both the training and materials they need to be successful in the classroom.
Museums with displays of appropriately selected topics could assist both students and teachers with basic geology units. The mineral museum staff could then provide the concepts of rock types, mineral formation, and fundamental geologic principles for better understanding.
Therefore, CAMMAZ seeks to support the education of mineral science and geology by supporting mineral museums and K-12 Outreach Programs.
Background: The founders of CAMMAZ were motivated by the loss of a major mineral museum and its geology education programs in Phoenix. The Arizona Mining and Minerals Museum was an invaluable resource for students and teachers in the Phoenix area for many decades, it provided support for the surrounding school districts. Many school districts incorporated the museum for yearly field trips numbering 40,000 children per year and as far away as Yuma, AZ. These students received a mineral education program based on the many self-funded and volunteers that gave their time freely. Unfortunately, the Arizona Historical Society gained control of the state owned museum in 2010, and proceeded to lock the doors in 2011.
Updates: Complete details about the loss of this valuable mineral museum and continuing attempts to restore it are available.