The CoreKids K-12 Outreach Program was initiated in 2006 with funds from the Department of Energy. We are currently seeking funds to help continue the current level of services and develop future projects, detailed below. Ongoing expenses to provide services at the current level include: staff salaries; expenses for creation and maintenance of displays and new instructional materials; purchase of leave-behind items like rock kits for students and books for classrooms and travel expenses. In the future, we hope to secure funds to provide student and faculty volunteers with stipends as well.

Please contact Dr. Peter Voice if you are interested in donating to the CoreKids program.  He can provide you with donation instructions.

Future Proposals

  1. Develop a pilot MGS-MGRRE online education portal focused exclusively on Michigan energy issues. This portal would develop activities using authentic datasets to guide students through the process by which geologists go from exploration to oil and gas production. As part of portal development, we will engage professional Michigan geologists to work with teachers directly, both in the field and in the classroom. These could also lay the foundation for future mentoring relationships between sponsoring companies and participating schools.
  2. Develop workshops and continuing education short courses for Michigan teachers. We would use the well cores and samples and production records at MGRRE and allow the teachers to lay their hands on the actual rocks that yield these natural resources such as oil, gas, minerals, metals, and groundwater. This would also allow us to build a stronger collaboration with local teachers associations (Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association, Michigan Science Teachers Association) and promote earth science clubs at their schools.
  3. Develop additional classroom modules. Several teachers that we have worked with in the past are excited to learn that we now present new modules about natural hazards and shale energy. As a result they are inviting us into their classrooms for multiple events. A wider variety of modules will not only interest more teachers, they will invite us back for more events, and more teachers and students will gain a better understanding of our natural resources and the need to responsibly manage them.
  4. Develop an Open House Event twice a year at the MGRRE Facility as a resource for local home school associations and youth groups. A series of hands-on activities are planned centered around Michigan Geology, Michigan Natural Resources, Energy and Fossils. We have already done a pilot version of this idea with the Kalamazoo Geological and Mineral Society and their youth group and it was very well received.
  5. Create a traveling classroom to bring these modules to schools, educational meetings and conferences, parks, events, and neighborhood organizations where students and the public can participate in learning games and displays which show people of where natural resources come from, how they are used in their daily lives, and how important responsible management of these critical resources makes Michigan a better place to live in and an example for others to follow. The vehicle used for this endeavor would be labeled with the logo(s) of the financial backer.
  6. Expand our impact by developing partnerships with other Michigan Universities and Colleges. We are currently building a partnership with Delta College to develop the first CoreKids Satellite. The primary CoreKids program would still be at Western Michigan University, but our satellites would be able to widen the geographic area that we could potentially reach. The current nature of the partnership would be to share physical resources such as module materials, rock and mineral samples, as well as contacts with area teachers in the region specified for the CoreKids Satellite.