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Program History
This unique school education program began in the early 1990s when there was little knowledge base about minerals and mining in schools and among the general public. Teachers were relying on mineral resources information that was 20-30 years out of date. And despite society's increased reliance on mineral resources, the minerals industry was commonly misrepresented and negatively perceived.

Concerned educators advised the Mining Association of B.C. that the best way to improve the situation for both parties was for teachers to develop up-to-date educational materials. The B.C. Ministry of Education and the B.C. Teachers' Federation corroborated this recommendation, at which point a partnership was formed whereby classroom teachers would write and develop the classroom materials, and the minerals industry would support all aspects of the program's development and maintenance.

A team of outstanding teachers who believed strongly in the benefits of this partnership emerged from elementary and secondary classrooms across the province. Industry and other stakeholders provided them with the necessary financial and in-kind support, as well as access to all aspects of the industry and its expertise. With new information and a better understanding of minerals and mining, these teachers developed up-to-date and usable materials that could be readily shared with other teachers. These teacher-writers, and others who have become involved with the program since, remain involved in many aspects of program development and delivery.

The Education Program's earliest initiatives were funded through the Mining Association of B.C. (MABC). As elements of the Program were developed, and demand from teachers grew significantly, sustained financial support became essential. In 1994 the MABC Education Program Charitable Organization (M.A.B.C. E.P.C.O.) was established in Trust as a registered charity for the purpose of garnering financial support to operate the MABC Education Program. In 2004 the charity and the school program were renamed the Mineral Resources Education Program of British Columbia. That same year MineralsEd established the MineralsEd Endowment Fund seeded with a $100,000 donation from Hunter Dickinson Inc. The Endowment Fund, first established in 2004 and envisioned to become a permanent source of income for MineralsEd annual operations, was seeded with a $100,000 donation from Hunter Dickinson Inc. Since 2007 the Fund has grown to over $3.1 million, thanks in large part to a 5-year matching funds pledge from Teck Resources Ltd. to contribute up to $200,000 annually, and to generous personal donations for Robert Dickinson and Ronald Thiessen in 2010. In 2012, the program was renamed again to its current name: MineralsEd.

Some $7.3 million has been raised since our teacher-industry partnership program began in 1991, including $3.1 million for the MineralsEd Endowment. This support has enabled MineralsEd to directly assist more than 7,900 educators who, over this same period of time, are estimated to have taught minerals, mining or Earth science units in their K-12 classrooms to more than 725,000 students.

Chronology of Program Development

YearDescription
2012:Program name change to MineralsEd.Website changes to www.MineralsEd.ca. Charity's official name remains Mineral Resources Education Program of BC (MREPBC)
2011:Grade 7 Resource Unit: Earth Sciences
2010:Redesign and develop www.bcminerals.ca
2009:K-3 Kids & Rocks, a half-day, hands on workshop for students in Lower Mainland schools
2008-present:Mining Career Videos on www.bcminerals.ca, student-produced video profiles of mine and mine supply employees in the Kamloops area
2007-present:BC Mining Week Community Fair, co-hosted with AME BC in Vancouver; displays, demos and activities to enhance classroom learning
2007:Safety Unit - K-3 Integrated Resource Unit: Kids and Rocks supplement introduces the gear and practices an exploration geologist uses to keep safe at work
I am an Exploration Geologist Colouring and Activity Book for elementary students learning about geology and mineral resources development (French translation in 2008; Spanish translation 2009)
2006:Investigating Careers in the Minerals Industry, web-based activity for students completing the Gr 12 graduation portfolio requirement
2005:Industrial Mineral, Metal and Coal Operations in BC poster with complementary teacher information and student activities, updated and reprinted in 2007, 2008 and 2011
2004:Charity and program name change to the Mineral Resources Education Program of British Columbia (MREPBC)
Mining Technology: A Natural Sciences and Engineering Technology Diploma Program at BCIT - video about BCIT's 2-year diploma program and career opportunities
2003:Mining in BC bookmark - 55,000 distributed province-wide since May 2003; updated and reprinted in Fall 2004, March 2006, April 2007, September 2008, April 2011
2002/03:New supplements to existing resources: Rocks and Dirt Just Aren't My Thing - video activity book; Mining Community: Elkford, BC - K-3 supplement; Science of Mining - new environment-focused experiments
2001:www.bcminerals.ca: Web site for teachers and students
French and Spanish translations of select Resource Unit materials
2001:www.bcminerals.ca: Web site for teachers and students
2000/01:Mineral Resources Development: Applications to The Social Studies and Science Curricula: University credit course for teachers.
2000:Rocks and Dirt Just Aren't My Thing...Or Are They?: video on the mining process for all classroom levels
1999:Maintenance and restructuring
1998:Digging for Answers: an environmental video on mine site reclamation for intermediate and secondary levels; aired on Knowledge Network
1997/98:K-3 Rocks & Minerals Integrated Science Kit; renamed K-3 Integrated Resource Unit: Kids and Rocks
1995/96:Careers in the Minerals Industry: multi-grade level video on industry careers spanning exploration to decommissioning and the supply sector
1994/95:Earth Science 11/Geology 12: "Resources and Ideas"
1994:MABC Education Program Charitable Organization established
1993:Science 10 Mining in BC
1992:Social Studies 10 Mining in BC
Grade 5 Integrated Resource Unit on Mining
1991:Industry-Education Partnership formalized: Classroom resources developed and pilot-tested
 
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