The Grade Threes investigate rocks and minerals at an international convention downtown.
Imagine the Metro Toronto Convention Centre filled with people from all over the word. These biochemists, software engineers, geologists, mining engineers, geophysicists, investors, and CEOs of huge organizations are walking around, in suits, checking out what’s new in the mining industry. Now imagine small groups of children in bright red t-shirts walking among these professionals doing the very same thing. Well, that is exactly the sight the grade threes were a part of when they attended The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s international conference.
The children spent the day with Mining Matters and their group of geologists and geologists in training. They enjoyed a half day workshop full of hands-on activities to help understand the rock cycle, how rocks and minerals are used in our lives, optical properties of rocks and minerals, and the mining cycle. The grade threes especially enjoyed observing mineral fluoresce under UV light. The geologists leading the workshop were amazed at the children’s knowledge and understanding of the three types of rocks and how they are formed.
The remaining half of the day was spent on the exhibit floor participating in a scavenger hunt. The children met professionals from Ontario, Northern Ontario, The Northwest Territories, and Nunavut as well as a software engineering firm based in Toronto. These industry specialists gave presentations and helped the children complete their rocks and minerals scavenger hunt. Many other people noticed the kids in the red t-shirts and were pleased to learn they were so interested in these topics.
The takeaway message from this trip was that the materials used in everyday items from toothpaste to cell phones are mined. The grades threes learned, in science class, that many perspectives must be considered throughout the mining cycle including the perspectives of Canada’s Indigenous communities. We were pleased to learn that the government of Canada has new policies in place to ensure that mining companies’ land reclamation plans are in place and money is set aside before extraction.
Thank you Mining Matters for a very interesting experience!
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