OMA to Help Educate Teachers About Mining at Mattawa Seminar

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.

The Ontario Mining Association is participating in a Teacher’s Mining Tour at the Canadian Ecology Centre near Mattawa.  Thirty teachers will participate in the sold-out course, which is being run from August 9 to 13.  The goal is to help educators learn more about the realities of modern, high tech, environmentally responsible mining in Ontario.

The Teacher’s Mining Tour is a professional development program for Ontario teachers and teachers in training.  Teachers taking the course will be able to earn a component of their Environmental Science Additional Qualification through Nipissing University and the Ontario College of Teachers.

Lesley Hymers, OMA Environment and Education Specialist, will be representing the Association at the event.  The themes for the conference include modern mining, environmental stewardship and sustainability, occupational health and safety and career opportunities within the industry.   

Ms. Hymers will be making presentations to the participating teachers on the role of the OMA, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.  She will also talk about OMA education and outreach initiatives such as the high school video competition So You Think You Know Mining and the OMA’s support of Skills Canada Ontario, which promotes trades and technologies as career options for students. 

The program for the teachers is jam packed.  Along with classroom sessions, there are off-site field trips planned to the McConnell Lakes area for a geology tour, a session on prospecting, an underground tour of Xstrata Nickel’s Nickel Rim South Mine and a tour of some mine supply and service operations in North Bay.  Classroom sessions will include presentations on mining resources available to teachers such as PDAC Mining Matters “Deeper and Deeper” and “Discovering Diamonds” educational resources.

“The OMA supports the Teacher’s mining Tour as another way to provide current information about mining, the skills needed by the industry and opportunities it offers,” said OMA President Chris Hodgson.  “The OMA helps teachers and students gain a greater understanding and appreciation of mining and its role as a responsible partner in society.”

“Mining is a sustainable activity; the mining sector is environmentally responsible, safe and is a source of a wide array of jobs.  Teachers and their students need to know more about this within the curriculum where mining is identified directly and indirectly,” said Bill Steer, General Manager of the Canadian Ecology Centre and a professor at Nipissing University’s Schulich School of Education.  “At the same time, we as consumers need to know more about the mining products that are part of our every day lives.”

Supporters of the Teacher’s Mining Tour include the OMA, CIM Northern Gateway Branch, CIM Sudbury Branch, CIM Mining and Metals Society and EdGeo.