Teachers go underground to unearth valuable knowledge

Video Celebrates Unique Professional Learning Program for Canadian Educators

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A video featuring educational mining tours was released late on the program’s 10th anniversary.


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That milestone was actually reached in 2020 — also the centennial of the Ontario Mining Association, which runs the program — but the pandemic delayed the video’s release.

“Since 2010, the OMA has partnered with the Ecology Center of Canada and Mining Matters to develop and deliver a professional learning program for Canadian educators, which provides enriching and experiential learning linked to science and geography curricula. , with emphasis on earth sciences, modern mining. , occupational health and safety, environmental stewardship and sustainability, and careers,” the OMA said in a statement.

Educational mineral resource and mining tours are sponsored by OMA member companies, some of which also participate in the program by providing access to their operations, including the rare opportunity to visit an underground mine.

“The mining tours are designed to teach teachers about modern mining and to enable them to pass that knowledge on to their students,” said OMA President Chris Hodgson.

“Ontario produces responsibly mined minerals that provide society with everyday essentials and are essential for the low-carbon technologies needed for a greener future,” added Hodgson. “For ambitious young people, eager to take climate action and push the boundaries of discovery and innovation to solve today’s critical global problems, Ontario’s mining industry is the place to be. ideal for building an impactful career.


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The OMA said giving educators first-hand experience of mining operations is “essential to imparting students with a deeper understanding of the industry,” as well as the opportunities it offers.

“Seeing is believing,” said Bill Steer, Founder and CEO of the CEC and driving force behind the program. “If it’s not cultivated, it’s mined. Making an informed decision is a matter of awareness.

Steer said teachers are able to bring a fresh perspective on all four aspects of tours — jobs/occupations, technology, environment and safety — into their classrooms.

Held at the CEC and originally named The Mining Teacher Tours, the fully sponsored five-day program is offered by Mining Matters, a charity dedicated to raising awareness and awareness among students, educators and the public about the geology and mineral resources of the Canada.

The program has engaged hundreds of teachers and benefited from their valuable feedback.

“One of the most rewarding parts of delivering this program is hearing from participants and being inspired by their ideas and enthusiasm,” said Lesley Hymers, Education and Outreach Programs Manager at Mining. Matters. “The program has evolved in response to the valuable feedback we’ve received and expanded to meet growing demand.”

The program now consists of three visits to several mining camps and welcomes participating teachers from across Canada, as well as mineral resource development advisors, learners from Indigenous communities and other educators.


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Programming includes the Mineral Resources and Basics of Mining Education Tour, the Life Cycle of Mine Tour and the Life in a Mining Camp Tour.

Tour itineraries include presentations from industry professionals willing to share their career experiences, resource workshops, and tours of mine sites and production facilities.

Teachers also discover the wide range of educational resources and professionals available to support their efforts in the classroom.

Plans for 2022 tours are underway, August dates and locations will be announced shortly.

For updates and more information, visit the Canadian Ecology Center website at www.canadianecology.ca/professional-development/miningtour.

To watch the video, go to tinyurl.com/34ahet3f.



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Donald E. Patel