STEM Education Initiatives

We place an emphasis on programs and initiatives that improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to help students acquire the skills necessary for success in a global, knowledge-based economy and society. The programs we support are designed or selected for their ability to increase student interest, improve teacher quality and confidence, and ultimately improve student achievement and outcomes in STEM disciplines, with the ultimate goals of inspiring them to pursue post-secondary degrees or career and technical certifications – and ultimately careers – in mining and other STEM related industries.

Annually, we invest approximately $1.5 to $2 million in STEM education at the K-12 level (primarily in AZ, CO, NM and TX where our largest U.S. operations are primarily located). 

Discovery Education Dig Into Mining

Discovery Education and Freeport-McMoRan have partnered to create an interactive program for grades 6-8 that uncovers the use of transition metals such as copper, gold and molybdenum in our everyday life, and provides students a deeper understanding of today’s hard rock mining industry. The initiative equips educators, students and families with dynamic resources - including a virtual field trip, interactive digital learning tools, and school-to-home connections with career exploration activities – designed to give students a front row seat to nature’s geological wonders and inspire further exploration of the world around them.


A multi-sector effort to prepare, deploy and support 100,000 excellent STEM teachers in the United States over the next 10 years. In 2011, we pledged $1.5 million over the next three years to support STEM teacher development programs in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.

Arizona partners (in 100Kin10) include University of Arizona, ASU, American Modeling Teachers Association, and AZ STEM Network, as well as national organizations providing programing in Arizona such as Teach for America, Intel Math and Change the Equation.

Science Foundation Arizona STEM Network
A statewide, collective impact effort designed to connect schools with resources to improve student performance in STEM education and ensure all available resources are being invested in what works or has the greatest potential to work through ongoing engagement, monitoring and measurement, technology and logistical support. Since 2008, Freeport-McMoRan has been the leading financial supporter for the establishment of Science Foundation Arizona’s STEM initiative and the collective work leading to the launch of the new Arizona STEM Network, providing a total of $2.2 million.

Center for Leadership and Learning at the Arizona Science Center
Freeport McMoRan Foundation Center for Leadership in Learning at the Arizona Science Center provides opportunities for educators and professionals to Create, Relate, and Innovate with the latest trends in STEM education. All facilitators are certified educators with a passion for inspiring creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. Let the CLL help you prepare leaders for the 21st Century!
Change the Equation

A nonprofit, nonpartisan, CEO-led initiative mobilizing the business community to improve the quality of STEM learning in the United States.
CTEq has helped more than 100 members connect and align their philanthropic investment and advocacy efforts. CTEq Signature Progams include:

  • STEMworks is your go-to resource for finding and investing in the nation’s leading STEM education programs.  
  • iON Future is a free online game-based learning environment for middle school and early-high school young people. Players can explore the breadth and variety of STEM-based professions and match their interests with different career pathways in STEM.

Science Fairs, Exploration and Outreach
Freeport-McMoRan supports a range of activities that encourage learning through “trial and error”, hands on exploration and experimentation, as well as efforts that raise awareness about the importance of science and technology to our society and global economies.
Southern AZ Regional Science and Engineering Fair
AZ Science and Engineering Fair

AZ SciTech Festival

SME Minerals Education Coalition

Arizona Science Teachers Association
Professional development for science teachers in Freeport-McMoRan operating communities.

Phoenix Symphony's Mind Over Music
With the understanding that different students learn in different ways and through varying media, Freeport-McMoRan has partnered with organizations that have harnessed their core strengths to join in the effort to create STEM literate students. The
Phoenix Symphony’s Mind Over Music program uses music and musical instruments as a medium for teaching/learning STEM concepts.