Mining Matters
Issue #24, Fall 2021
Welcome to Our Fall Issue
With the arrival of Autumn, we at Mining Matters wanted to share a few updates on our past, present, and future programming. 
High School Enrichment Program Pilot
In August 2021, we completed a pilot for a secondary student enrichment program. Our test group of teens took part in a week-long virtual enrichment program designed to enhance interest in geoscience, engineering, and the environment.
Mining Matters staff led participants through a five-day program consisting of interactive geoscience activities. Participants completed hands-on engineering challenges, creating headframes from straws and tape, and explored the crystallographic properties of minerals using a homemade USB microscope, examining samples under cross- and plane-polarized light.
Through this pilot, Mining Matters gained valuable experience and participant feedback we will use to hone and offer this program to high school students in the near future.
The WHERE Challenge is an annual national contest asking students aged 9 to 14 to discover the role that mineral resources play in their daily lives, challenging them to think: “What on Earth is in your stuff?” and “Where on Earth does it come from?”.
Mining Matters also launched this school year’s WHERE Challenge Mini at the beginning of September. This monthly contest inspires youth to discover the non-renewable resources used to make everyday items. September’s had contestants exploring mineral resources that are used in school supplies, and October’s theme focused on Canada’s critical minerals.
Please consider becoming a volunteer judge and/or sharing information about WHERE with your colleagues, education partners, and social media network. You can contact us at: with any queries, offers of participation, or to request a WHERE workshop.

Virtual Escape Experience
You’re invited to try Refuge Station -- our new virtual escape room, sponsored by Teck Resources Limited and created in partnership with SenseTech Solutions
Participants find themselves in a refuge station, deep in a mine, working to retrieve clues and solve puzzles to find PPE. This online adventure is ideal for one to three players, though larger teams can also take part.
Science Literacy Week
Mining Matters took part in Science Literacy Week from September 20 to 26 this year. Search the #SciLit hashtag on social media for more information and social media posts.
Collaborative partnerships with libraries and educational institutions were established in Ajax, Brandon, Montreal, Prince Albert, St. John’s, and Sudbury to distribute 138 activity kits to students during this year’s Science Literacy Week celebrations.
Activity kits contained the equipment and resources for eight hands-on activities and experiments that connect Earth science and mineral resources with the important role they play in our lives.
Thank you to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for their funding in support of this important initiative. 
Outland Youth Employment Program
Over the past two decades, the Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) has offered a national network of land-based education, training, and work opportunities for Indigenous youth in high school, providing them with summer work and learning opportunities. In 2020-2021, Mining Matters was privileged to continue our ten-year partnership with OYEP.
Mining Matters staff adapted their usual delivery method, providing OYEP counsellors with the training and educational resources necessary to lead the same activities with camp participants with customized GEMS Kits. These group kits contained video tutorials demonstrating activity facilitation using the materials provided. Our hybrid Mining Rocks programming was delivered to campers at six locations in Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and British Columbia.
Frontier College Partnership for STEM Education
Frontier College is a national charitable organization offering educational programming and activities. Founded on the belief that literacy is a human right, Frontier College works with First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities to deliver summer literacy camps. 
Mining Matters provided comprehensive resource kits to Frontier College that were distributed to 450 youth in 15 First Nation communities in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick. These kits enriched STEM components in Frontier College’s summer camp programming, helping youth practice reading and writing while simultaneously learning about rocks, minerals, metals, mining, and the environment.
Central American Mineralogical Club
Mining Matters contributed activity books, testing equipment, and rock and mineral samples to the recently launched Central American Youth Mineralogical Club. This initiative focuses on families with children ages 8 to 13 who want to learn about rocks, minerals, fossils, and geology.
Preparations Begin for Giving Tuesday
Our annual Giving Tuesday campaign will launch in the coming weeks. We ask that you help share our posts and support the campaign where possible. Last year we received $6,000 in donations, surpassing our goal. We hope to exceed our goal once again during this time of global generosity.
Purchase a GEMS Kit
A limited number of our GEMS Kits are available for purchase over the holiday season. Each kit contains more than a dozen activities about geology, engineering, mining and sustainability. Materials and instructions are included.

Cost: $100 (includes shipping). Available in Canada only. Deadline to order is December 8. Place your order here.
Other ways you can support us in our mission:
The Spark
In 2020, we collaborated with Delane Cooper, a Toronto-based jeweler, to design a unique custom pendant for Mining Matters.
As thoughts turn to holiday celebrations and giving, we are pleased to offer this opportunity again. To receive your order in time for the holidays, orders must be placed no later than November 5th for orders outside Ontario or November 19th for orders within Ontario at 11:59 PM EST.
This pendant represents our mission to spark curiosity about Earth sciences in youth. $15 of each purchase of a solid sterling silver or solid 14K gold necklace will be donated back to Mining Matters. To learn more about the story behind this piece and order, visit
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Send Us Feedback

We would love to hear from you.
Try some of our DIY activities and let us know what you think by sending an email to

Your monetary contribution supports the development and delivery of our innovative, curriculum-linked educational programs.
We would like to thank all of our donors, sponsors, and other supporters for your continued support -- without you, we could not share our love of geoscience with young people and educators across the country! Your support allows us to innovate, inform, and inspire thousands of students and their many diverse communities.
Contact Us
1102 - 150 Ferrand Drive, Toronto, ON M3C 3E5
T: 416-863-6463 | F: 416-863-9900
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