Information for Educators
Field Trips & Educational Tours
The W.M. Keck Museums is available for tours from all K-12 schools and also community groups.
We generally work with the Nevada Seismological Laboratory to provide tours that enhance earth science standards-based lesson plans and activities.
The tour generally takes 45 minutes, but can be expanded or reduced depending on grade or interest level.
Some of the highlight of the tour are:
- Introduction to Rocks and Minerals
- Scavenger Hunt for Minerals
- Introduction to the Mackay Statue
- Mackay Family Silver
- Mining History
To schedule a tour either call the museum at (775) 784-4528 or submit this online request form.
The W.M. Keck Museum is proud to offer traveling mineral kits to teachers for use in the classroom. These kits were funded by a grant from the Stout Foundation and are available free of charge to K-12 teachers and other civic groups. The intention of these Keck Kits is to not only provide portable, hands-on earth science education, but to also promote the exhibits and activities of the W.M. Keck Museum and the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. Both institutions are committed to educating the public about earth science and work towards achieving this goal by a variety of in-house and outreach projects.
The kits are available for a two week period and a $25 refundable deposit. The deposit is waived for Northern Nevada educators. Kits must be picked up and returned to the W.M. Keck Earth Science and Mineral Engineering Museum at the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, UNR. For more information, call the museum at (775) 784-4528.
1. Physical properties of minerals
This kit would contains large, well-formed mineral specimens that illustrate several of the basic physical properties of minerals such as color, streak, luster, crystal form, hardness, cleavage, magnetism, and density, and is packaged into a hard sided traveling suitcase case. Smaller samples and mineral test kits are included for students to experiment with to identify some of these physical properties. This kit is designed to enhance appropriate, standards-based lesson plans for teachers developing their units on Earth science.
2. Nevada minerals, their properties and uses
This kit consists of 14 quality specimens of common Nevada minerals, laminated sheets describing the physical properties and collection locality of each mineral, and a shrink-wrapped product board displaying the products that are used in everyday life that are derived from that each mineral (e.g., toothpaste from the mineral fluorite). This entire display is engineered to fit into a hard-sided rolling suitcase for durability and ease of transportation. Also included are background material, posters and lesson plans for teachers to use in developing their units on Earth science using this kit.
3. Fluorescent minerals
One of the museum displays that most fascinates student visitors is the fluorescent mineral exhibit. The portable fluorescent mineral display is guaranteed to excite students and teachers about minerals and earth science. This display consists of mineral samples and a UV light box constructed by Keck museum staff to allow students to safely view rock and mineral samples and observe the unusual property of fluorescence. The UV light box and minerals is housed in a protective wheeled case to facilitate transportation, usage, and safety.
- Downloadable activities
- Science of the Comstock provides content, activities, and lesson plans related to the fields of study of science of Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Environmental Science applied to the historically and industrially important mining on the Comstock
- Nevada Division of Minerals Education Links