Minerals on the Edge

Geology for Investors
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Informative Text
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be "fully aligned," the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.


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1 not free

So many of these resources are unusable!!


The Geology for Investors website is a source of information about why mineral deposits are where they are. The link takes you to the page, “Minerals on the Edge – Plate Boundaries and Minerals.” This provides a basic understanding of how minerals become concentrated where they do. This is under the “Geology” tab. There is also a choice called “Ore Deposits”. This page lists different mining sites and describes how the minerals became concentrated in those locations. Another tab, “Mining”, gives additional information about issues around mining such as challenges and value. Please note that this website does not provide lesson plans.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 6
  • Middle School
Access Restrictions

Available by subscription - The right to view and/or download material, often for a set period of time, by way of a financial agreement between rights holders and authorized users.

Performance Expectations

MS-ESS3-1 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth's mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how these resources are limited and typically non-renewable, and how their distributions are significantly changing as a result of removal by humans. Examples of uneven distributions of resources as a result of past processes include but are not limited to petroleum (locations of the burial of organic marine sediments and subsequent geologic traps), metal ores (locations of past volcanic and hydrothermal activity associated with subduction zones), and soil (locations of active weathering and/or deposition of rock)

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Geology for Investors is a source of information about how minerals get deposited where they do. The link leads to a page that explains how different processes at plate boundaries concentrates minerals. This is under the Geology section under the topic “Basics.” Students should look under the same section and find the topic called “Ore Deposits.” Students could look at specific ore deposits to understand how those minerals became concentrated. Students could look at one of the deposits and then explain to the class how those minerals became concentrated there. Using the information from the various presentations students could then construct their own explanation based on the evidence from the different mineral deposits. The teacher would need to create a template or structure for students to use these informative texts.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students could construct an explanation based on evidence by using the information from this website. The website states “Our writers and contributors all have a background in geology, mineral exploration or mining. It is our collective goal to become part of your educational process, especially when it comes to geology and mineral exploration,” so the information should be valid and reliable. Students would need guidance as to how to gather information and construct an explanation. Students could work as individuals gathering information from different minerals and ores and creating their explanation. Or students could focus on one mineral ore and present the information to the class. Some sort of data sheet should be provided to help students record the information and have it available to construct an explanation as to why minerals are located where they are.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students will need to read Geology - The Basics: Minerals on the Edge – Plate Boundaries and Minerals. The reading provides an overall explanation for locations of mineral deposits. Students could investigate specific ore deposits to gain more information about the geologic processes that concentrated them by going to Geology - Ore Deposits. Students could then plot the locations of the specific ore deposits to show that ore deposits are not evenly distributed around the globe.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Geology - The Basics: Minerals on the Edge – Plate Boundaries and Minerals describes how by knowing where plate boundaries occurred in the past it becomes easier to find/predict where resources might be located. Geology - Ore Deposits looks at specific mineral deposits. It provides descriptions about how the minerals became concentrated, recent discoveries, promising projects and where deposits might be found. After learning about mineral deposits, the teacher could ask students to predict whether there was a likelihood for mineral deposits to be located in a particular area and why or why not.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This website provides the evidence that students can use to construct an explanation. With the information as a basis the students could experience 3-dimensional learning but it would require the teacher to create the lessons that would guide students.

  • Instructional Supports: There are no instructional supports to help guide an instructor as to how to use the information. It is a website created to help disseminate information on mining minerals. It does provide good background information that can be used to work on the Performance Expectation. The weakness is there really is not a lesson plan or explanation of how to use the information to have students develop a scientific explanation.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: There are no suggestions as to how to monitor student progress since it is a website that provides information. Instructors would need to create their own assessments and ways to monitor the progress students are making toward the Performance Expectation. A rubric should be developed that assesses the evidence students used and how well developed their explanation is.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This resource has no technological aspect however the information is accessed from a website.