Copper, one of the earliest known metals used by humans, has played a significant role in the development of civilizations throughout history. Its discovery dates back to 9000 BCE, with early societies in the Middle East crafting tools, weapons, and decorative items using this versatile and easily workable metal. The use of copper paved the way for the Bronze Age as people started to alloy copper with tin. With its excellent electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion, copper has become an essential material in modern technology, used extensively in electrical wiring, electronics, plumbing, and various other industries.

Consider using this lesson with the Bingham Canyon Copper Mine lesson as a followup!


• Full Class Lesson Plan
• Perfect for a Sub Day!
• Active Learning Card Sort
• Group Work
• Video Bullet Points
• Part of the Technology & Society: Material Sciences unit

Learning Objectives

• Describe the historical importance of copper and its role in the development of human civilization and modern society.
• Identify the physical properties of copper.
• Describe the raw materials for copper mining and how copper is mined.
• Explain the challenges and opportunities for the copper industry in the context of the green economy.

Purchase Material Sciences: History and Uses of Copper at the Edge of Learning storefront.