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Teachers' Center

Arizona Mineral Education

Arizona minerals are the backbone of the Arizona Experience. Arizona Mineral Education provides links to mineral museums, photo galleries, and education outreach programs. It is a resource for educators, students, and the Arizona public.

How can we help?

​Teachers, please take a moment to tell us how we can best shape the site for use in the classroom by filling out this brief survey.





Educators are one of Arizona’s most valuable resources.

As noted on the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) General Overview of the 2010 Arizona English Language Arts and Mathematics Standards, "teachers today must prepare students for a world of possibilities that may not currently exist. The workforce of tomorrow must be flexible, motivated, and be able to draw from a deep and vast skill set. The ability to effectively communicate, collaborate, and adapt to situations will be critical to ensuring competition in a global market." 

One Stop Education

To meet the demand for engaging, effective education, The Arizona Experience has compiled a variety of web-based resources for use in the classroom and at home. Use these pages to find materials and activities that supplement classroom lessons and online education with hands-on experiments, observations, and field trips that help students gain understanding of the changing world around them. There are links to online photo galleries, web applications, podcasts, and other multimedia materials.

Teacher Aid Button

The Teacher Aid button makes searches for lesson plans, materials, and activities easy. Click on this button to find toolboxes created especially for educators. A full list is found on the Teacher Resources page, which also showcases videos dedicated to enhancing the classroom experience and provides links to state and national learning resources. 

Learning Button

The Learning button brings ready-made ADE-approved curricula to one’s fingertips. Click on the learning button for pre-packaged lessons. The number of these lessons will increase as the site expands. Subscribe to our RSS Feed to be made aware of site updates automatically.

Arizona raptors Lesson Plan

Petrified Forest Lesson Plan

Grade 3-6 lesson plans and materials on the Hohokam Civilization. Download the PDF.

"Locally Grown" Agriculture and Nutrition Lesson Plan


Find more educational material.

Twenty-first Century Interface

The Internet has accelerated the speed at which connections between speaking, listening, reading, and writing can be made, requiring that students be ready to use these modalities nearly simultaneously. Technology itself is changing quickly, creating a new urgency for students to be adaptable in response to change.

-From the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening

Content at The Arizona Experience is designed to fulfill the expectations of the ADOE’s College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening. Articles are presented with images, videos, and interactive applications like maps or games. This mixed media approach increases understanding in non-normative learners. Students can experience and assimilate information from multiple modalities, an invaluable practice for students wishing to compete in our increasingly tech-savvy world.

Students must use diverse media strategically as they develop their reasoning skills. The Arizona Experience presents diverse media, exposes students to a variety of engaging, subject-relevant information, and encourages the creative use of materials available on the site.

More Site Content

  • Interactive maps increase knowledge of geography and improve web skills. Information provided in these maps can springboard an independent data collection project, or student generated data can be used to create a map, developing advanced skills in critical thinking and practical web application. Visualization software creates interactive data platforms for teachers and students.
  • Instructional videos provide expert insight that can be integrated into lessons as primary sources or used by students in projects.
  • Interactive games test knowledge of local ecology and encourage application of common vocabulary and concepts.
  • Articles and images present Arizona history, geography, geology, innovation, science, commerce, civics, and current events. Learn and explore!
  • Imagine Arizona Lesson Plan Contest - Congratulations, Winners! Thanks to all who submitted original lesson plans to the Imagine Arizona Lesson Plan Contest. See the six winning entries!

Teacher Resources on The Arizona Experience

Ask A Biologist

Units of interrelated articles, activities, quizzes, comic books, and experiments. Resources featured include online bird finder application, podcasts, comic books, and the "Ask a biologist" feature where students ask a biologist their life-sciences questions. Teacher toolbox: Lesson builder. Find resource based on activity type and grade level. 

Biology, Ecology, Language arts

Citizen Science

List of citizen science opportunities in and around Arizona. Based on empirical observations. Present opportunities for interdisciplinary projects.  Small scale observations are shared with a broad audience via computer. Data has potential to be used in projects of national importance. Superb platform for pairing internet learning with life sciences or geography. Option to build your own dataset for custom computer modeling or GIS applications. Educator's Clearinghouse: Enter search criteria to find projects in the National Phenology Network's database. 

Astronomy, Botany, Climate, Earth sciences, Ecology

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Galleries of photos with information on hundreds of species. Games and lesson plans.

Botany, Ecology, Zoology

Teacher Video Gallery

Hear from professional educators in their own voices. These videos introduce engaging, instructive programs that may find their way into your classroom.

Educator Kerry Schwartz describes how Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) challenges students to explore water use, sources, and systems through field trips and personal projects.

Dr. Nadja Anderson explains how the BIOTECH Project brings hands-on genomics into the classroom—and what it means for teachers.

Dr. Nadja Anderson explains how the BIOTECH Project brings hands-on genomics into the classroom—and what it means for teachers. Dr. Nadja Anderson explains how the BIOTECH Project brings hands-on genomics into the classroom—and what it means for teachers.


Ask a Biologist site founder Charles Kazilek pioneered online science learning in 1997, and he’s still a leader in engaging material.

Ask a Biologist site founder Charles Kazilek pioneered online science learning in 1997, and he’s still a leader in engaging material.Ask a Biologist site founder Charles Kazilek pioneered online science learning in 1997, and he’s still a leader in engaging material.

National Education Resources

Teachers can find lesson plans, ideas, and resources on these national education sites. These materials can help bolster lesson plans available from the ADE site.


DLESE is the Digital Library for Earth System Education, a free resource that supports teaching and learning about the Earth system, funded by the National Science Foundation. Resources in DLESE include lesson plans, scientific data, visualizations, interactive computer models, and virtual field trips - in short, any web-accessible teaching or learning material.

PBS Learning Media

PBS LearningMedia™ is your destination for easy, instant access to tens of thousands of classroom-ready, digital resources including videos and interactives perfect for the Interactive Whiteboard, plus audio and photos, and even in-depth lesson plans.

Education World

A complete online resource that educators could visit each day to find high-quality lesson plans and research materials. EDmin.com is a leading provider of learning management solutions.

Teachers – Library of Congress

The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library's vast digital collections in their teaching.

NASA for Educators

NASA's Education Materials Finder will help teachers locate resources that can be used in the classroom. Users may search by keywords, grade level, product type and subject.

NSDL – National Science Digital Library

Funded by the National Science Foundation, NSDL is the nation's online portal for education and research on learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Teachers’ Domain

Teachers' Domain is a free digital media service for educational use from public broadcasting and its partners. You’ll find thousands of media resources, support materials, and tools for classroom lessons, individualized learning programs, and teacher professional learning communities.


For over a decade, TeAchnology has been providing free and easy to use resources for teachers dedicated to improving the education of today's generation of students. The site features 46,000+ lesson plans, 10,200 free printable worksheets, rubrics, teaching tips, worksheet makers, web quests, math worksheets, and thousands of other great teacher resources. Teachnology Incorporated developed in response to the challenges associated with Twenty-First Century Learners: The Net-Generation.


Verizon Thinkfinity Content Partners, including Smithsonian’s History Explorer, National Geographic Education, Science NetLinks, and econedlink, produce the program's nine discipline-specific, standards-based Web sites. Each site includes lessons for teachers, activities to use in and out of the classroom, games for young children and teens, adult literacy resources and reference materials for anyone in the education field, as well as for parents and afterschool practitioners.


Curriki is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that provides an avenue for educators and education-decision makers from all over the world to come together as a global education and learning community.


Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) makes it easier to find teaching and learning resources from the federal government. More than 1,500 federally supported teaching and learning resources are included from dozens of federal agencies. 


Top Pages for Students

Not sure where to start? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite site features here. These pages provide maps, timelines, games and videos that can be worked into a lesson or can give students a chance to learn on their own.

Farming and Ranching

infographic: economic breakdown of agricultural industry by product; downloadable charts: products by season; finder’s guide: community farmers markets

Get to know the products of the second largest industry in Arizona. Find what’s growing, when it’s ripe, find farmers markets, and discover why Arizona’s climate creates unique farming opportunities.


Ancient Arizona

slideshow: Arizona geography back 2.5 billion years; interactive map: Ancient Volcanoes; videos: Superstition Mountains and Ancient Processes; lesson plan: Petrified Forest (Grade 3)

Describes properties of earth materials, explains how fossils are formed. Explores earth processes like volcanoes and tectonic shift.

Earth sciences, Geology, Paleontology

Research Observatories

Interactive star hunt: WorldWide Telescope app is a vitrual telescope offering guided tours and self exploration of the cosmos; video: astronomy opportunities in Arizona; tabbed pages: explore all major research observatories in Arizona and their telescopes with links to virtual tours of Kitt Peak National Observatory and the U.S. Naval Observatory; interactive map: observatory layer on the Recreation and Cultural Sites map

Arizona houses some of the most advanced telescopes in the world! Explore all five of Arizona's research observatories-- observatories that have pioneered work in astronomical collaborations, dark matter discovery, planetary and atmospheric science and many types of astronomy.

Astronomy, Earth sciences, Physics

American Indian Tribes and Communities in Arizona

Graphic: Information on 22 American Indian Nations; PDF: American Indian Tribes and Communities; map: image of tribal lands and Arizona's American Indian Reservations

Explore a brief introduction to the culture, ancestry, and location of Arizona's 22 American Indian Nations.

Arizona history, Civics, Early civilizations, Language arts, Social studies

100 Years of Arizona Music

Lesson plan: I Am Arizona Music; timeline: Arizona’s musical events; video: interviews and performance footage of waila, mariachi, Yaqui and Navajo artists on branch pages

Experience Arizona’s history through music with videos, interviews, and audio clips! Trace the development of Tohono O’odam waila music, Arizona’s unique take on Latin music, including “Chicano Music” and the International Mariachi Conference. Explore Arizona's contribution to "cowboy music" and more.

Arizona history, Language arts, Physics, Social studies

A History of Water Management in Arizona

comprehensive timeline: History of Water Management in Arizona by the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

How did water shape Arizona’s history? Tell the story of Arizona through water use and legislation. Use the timeline as a reference for specific laws, dates, or events.

Arizona history, Civics, Earth sciences, Ecology, Geography

Hohokam Canals: Prehistoric Engineering

video: Site tour with Jerry Howard, curator of the Arizona Museum of Natural History; map: prehistoric and modern day canal systems; history: Jack Swilling, founder of Phoenix, learning button: Hohokam lesson plan for grades 3–6

Arizona history, Astronomy, Early civilizations, Earth sciences, Language arts

Solar in Action

video: types of solar installations; how solar energy works; interactive map: passive and active solar installations in AZ; lesson plan: 6–8 grade passive solar group activity; teacher aid: K–12 energy-oriented supplementary curriculum resources from the Salt River Project;

With a 333% increase in solar installations in 2011, Arizona boasts some of the largest and most exciting projects in the U.S.

Earth sciences, Physics

Exploring Energy

interactive diagrams: SunsiteFunsite—general solar energy information, text, glossary, educational activities for students; activities and worksheets: photovoltaic, solar thermal, and chemical energy; pages/games: TEP’s Energy Efficiency World—EcoRacer introduces renewable energy sources; Stop the Guzzler helps students understand how they can save energy at home. Campus Metabolism: Advanced information displays help dissect energy use; EIA Energy Kids 

Interactive diagrams and learning pages build knowledge of what energy is, how it works, types of energy. Games introduce types of renewable energy and teach the basic concepts of home energy saving. Puzzles broaden learning; timelines and bios of energy pioneers offer history of energy.

Chemistry, Earth sciences, Physics

Arizona Habitats

interactive map: Arizona Habimap; games: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and National Geographic; video: Physiographic Provinces; lesson plan: Arizona Raptors

Search the map for in-depth inquiry about wildlife, climate, and habitat. Understand the relationships among organisms and their environment. Identify wildlife, compare habitats. Compare food chains, adaptive behaviors. 

Climate, Earth sciences, Ecology, Geography

Women and Culture in Copper Country

videos: U of A professor Anna Ochoa O'Leary

U of A professor Anna Ochoa O'Leary discusses women mining and the fusing of numerous cultures.

Arizona history, Social studies

Mineral History Timeline

interactive timeline: Mining History Timeline; video: 1927 Mining Equipment

History of science as a human endeavor. Interactive timeline shows 400 years of Arizona's development through mining in a fun, visual format.

Arizona history, Social studies

Rock Products: Building Arizona

game: Cement Plant Tour; information graphic: Industrial Minerals Everyday Uses, PDF

Learn about Arizona's types of quarries, the importance of rocks and gravel in building, infrastructure, and household products.

Chemistry, Geology

Buffalo Soldiers

slideshow: History of the Buffalo Soldiers in Fort Huachuca; video: 93rd Division in World War II

 Follows history of Buffalo Soldiers in Fort Huachuca and their role in maintaining peace at the U.S. Mexico border from 1892 through World War II.

Arizona history, Civil rights, World War I, World War II

Arizona Facts

video: Living State Symbols; trivia: State Facts

Collect and test your knowledge of Arizona trivia.

Arizona history, Geography

Biofuel Development

videos: Sweet Sorgum, Introduction to Tubes in the Desert, Sustainable Algal Biofuels Consortium (SABC), Cyanobacteria for Solar-Powered Biofuels, Algae Energy


Learn the principles of creating energy efficient biofuels from algae and other resources, and Arizona's leadership role in developing these technologies.

Biology, Chemistry

Arizona Timeline Map

interactive map: Timeline Map from 1775 to 2012.

Hands on experience of Arizona's history from 1775 to 2012.

Arizona history, Civics, Geography

Visualize it!

Interactive maps and video tours are fun and engaging ways to present information. Now students can learn to create their own!

The Arizona Experience has teamed up with leading-edge software creators to help bring data visualization applications into classrooms.

Worldwide Telescope

Worldwide Telescope (WWT) is a data visualization application that allows users to explore the Earth, the solar system, and the Milky Way. Developed by Microsoft Research with the software name Layerscape, this program places the user in control of a virtual camera that can be instructed to view runtime-generated three-dimensional scale models of planet Earth and other bodies in the solar system, as well as panoramic composite images of Mars and the moon. View the night sky as seen from Earth, then zoom in for a closer look at nebulae and constellations, or check out a map of cosmic microwave background radiation.

Though WWT-Layerscape has been touring the cosmos for several years, it has recently turned its sights toward Earth, using Bing Maps to create a virtual globe in the style of Google Earth.

WWT-Layerscape allows you to share what you see by creating guided tours: self-contained multimedia presentations in which you direct the camera. These tours are structured much like presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint: they are built from slides and may contain images and sound to go with animated camera movement. 

Classroom ​Use

This tour conveys 200 years of Arizona’s earthquakes quickly and effectively.

In the classroom, Worldwide Telescope facilitates learning in three different ways. At its most basic level, Worldwide Telescope allows students to explore and learn about the Earth and sky. Additionally, Worldwide Telescope provides students with a platform to construct multimedia presentations, allowing students to learn how to transform data into an informative product. Finally, students using Worldwide Telescope learn about the importance of data management and the relationship between data, data visualization, and data applications.

“Flythrough” style tours with a movable camera are not the only option this software offers. Static maps with events occurring as a time function create powerful visualizations with a relatively small amount of data.

Download earthquake data set in comma-separated values (CSV) format.

Please note: this data and this tour are used for instructional purposes only and do not represent the most current information on Arizona earthquakes. Earthquake data is compiled from the Arizona Geological Survey and Northern Arizona University hazard viewer.

WWT-Layerscape Tutorials

PowerPoint tutorials and guides can help you understand and implement this free technology.

“Creating Tours in Worldwide Telescope” is a short instructional booklet with an introduction WWT-Layerscape and the principles of creating a basic tour.

Open “Creating Tours in Worldwide Telescope

Microsoft Research is developing a series of comprehensive PowerPoint guides for WWT-Layerscape. Session A helps you create, transfer, and play with data in WWT. 

View “Layerscape Workshop Session A” PowerPoint presentation.

Endless Possibilities

Check out some original tours by The Arizona Experience to help decide the nature of your tour.

Encounter Monument Valley

Encounter Monument Valley. Find more tours on the Iconic Landscapes map


Discover the Tiger Mine. Read the Gems and Precious Minerals article.


Download the Worldwide Telescope PDF guide