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May 16 to 18 – Canada-Wide Science Fair at Carleton University

The Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan (CMMP) team was on the ground at the STEM Expo 2018 as part of the Canada-Wide Science Fair held at Carleton University from May 16 to 18. The event hosted over 10,000 visiting students from grades 6–12, teachers, finalists and members of the public from across Canada.

The CMMP team engaged with this unique voice to gain a better understanding of their perception of mining. Many stopped by the booth to check out rock and ore samples, try the quiz and fill out a quick survey on what mining means to them.

What we heard on site:

  • Teachers were interested in knowing more about resources available to educate their students on the mineral development process
  • Teachers mentioned the lack of curriculum opportunities to discuss geology and mining with their students
  • Teachers also mentioned they were not aware of the different careers available within the mining industry
  • Students were interested in discussing geology and mining, but the vast majority had not considered the mining industry as a future career option

What the survey revealed:

  • When asked what comes to mind when thinking about mining:
    • 60% thought of rocks and minerals (gold was commonly mentioned)
    • 20% thought of outdated views of mining like pickaxes, men in caves and references such as the Seven Dwarfs
    • Other responses indicated health problems, technology, a parent's job and construction, as well as pop culture references such as Minecraft
  • When asked if they ever considered mining as a career option:
    • 83% of participants said they had not thought about a career in mining and did not know about the many types of opportunities available
  • When asked about minerals and metals in their everyday lives:
    • There was a general awareness of minerals and metals, but a lack of understanding that we use these in a vast majority of products