Teachers benefit from their times in classrooms
Forty-six educators expanded their mineral industry knowledge through active participation in an enhanced Teachers Mining Tour. This was the fourth year for this program and the first year the week-long program had been held twice to help accommodate increased demand for the course.
Elementary and secondary school science and social studies teachers from across Ontario and parts of Quebec were exposed to all facets of mining from exploration and geology through to production and mine site reclamation and environmental activities. Twenty-four teachers were in the first workshop from July 29 to August 2, and 22 teachers were in the second program from August 19 to 23, 2013. The base camp for the programs was the Canadian Ecology Centre, near Mattawa.
“The schedule is jam packed with classroom time, site visits, and presentations,” said Lesley Hymers, Ontario Mining Association environment and education specialist. “The teachers are a dedicated group of educators who have donated a portion of their summer holidays to gain a first-hand glimpse of one of Ontario’s most important industries and a better understanding of the broad range of career opportunities mining offers.”
George Flumerfelt, president of North Bay-based mine contractor Redpath, provided first-night greetings and an introduction to mining for the first group, and Roy Slack, president of North Bay-based mine contractor Cementation, did the same for the second group of educators.
The July group enjoyed tours of the Nickel Rim South underground mine of newly named Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, a Glencore Company, and the tree nursery and fish hatchery of Vale. Teachers also became familiar with the regreening reclamation successes in the Copper Cliff area and viewed the mining equipment manufacturing facility of Boart Longyear in North Bay.
The August group visited Goldcorp’s Porcupine Gold Mines in Timmins for an underground mine tour and its Coniaurum and Hollingers properties to see mine site rehabilitation projects. Along with meeting First Nations representatives involved in agreements with Goldcorp, this group also visited the historic Cobalt mining camp and the Haileybury School of Mines, as well as Atlas Copco’s mine equipment manufacturing facility in North Bay.
“The generosity and support of OMA members is crucial to the success of the Teachers Mining Tour,” said OMA president Chris Hodgson. “We appreciate member companies making their high-tech facilities and technical experts available to help educators better understand the realities of modern mining.”
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.