This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.
For the past three summers, the Ontario Mining Association has been involved in a week-long educational program called the Teachers’ Mining Tour. This year, the program is being held twice, which doubles the number of teachers to 60 who will gain a first-hand glimpse of modern mining in Ontario.
The programs are being held at the Canadian Ecology Centre, near Mattawa. Thirty teachers from across the province will participate in each of the educational workshops being held July 29 to August 2 and from August 19 to 23, 2013.
“Seeing is believing and this fully sponsored professional development opportunity presents informed choices for educators,” said Bill Steer, General Manager of the Canadian Ecology Centre. “The Teachers’ Mining Tour is an opportunity to bring modern mining into the classroom curricula.”
Lesley Hymers, OMA Environment and Education Specialist, will be supporting the program and making presentations throughout both weeks on OMA education and outreach initiatives. These include the OMA’s high school video competition So You Think You Know Mining and the OMA’s collaborative activities with Skills Canada Ontario, which promotes trades and technologies as career options for students and other organizations.
During the program, teachers will be exposed to Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Mining Matters teaching kits and will learn about mineral exploration, mine development, geology and sectors of the economy supported by mining directly and indirectly. Along with hands-on training through workshops, the teachers will have an opportunity to see mining in person.
Teachers will visit Xstrata Nickel’s Nickel Rim South Mine and Goldcorp’s operations in Timmins. In the past, teachers have been taken to Vale’s metallurgical complex in Sudbury to learn about technologies helping the environment. Included in previous programs have been visits to a number of mining equipment manufacturing facilities in North Bay including Boart Longyear and Atlas Copco. Details are currently being finalized for similar expeditions for the educators.
Supporters of the Teacher’s Mining Tour include the OMA and several of its member companies, the Canadian Institute of Mining’s Underground Mining Society, CIM Sudbury Branch, CIM North Bay (Gateway) Branch and Ed Geo, an organization of the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences that supports workshops for teachers.
The CEC, which is located in Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park, is an environmental education institution delivering high school credits and school programs for students and teachers. The OMA is pleased to play a role in this important program and has been involved in it since it started. The OMA believes this program helps teachers and students gain a greater understanding and appreciation of mining and its role as a responsible partner in society.