Classes learn about mining

Sam Odrowski

The Grade 4 class at St. Francis School here received an in-depth presentation about what goes on at the New Gold mine north of Barwick this past Thursday.
Students at Our Lady of the Way School also sat in on the presentation via videoconference.
“Students had a chance to deepen their understanding of rocks and minerals, mining processes, and stewardship as it relates to mining,” said Jean Bujold, experiential learning lead for the Northwest Catholic District School Board.
Bujold organized the presentation to give students a first-hand look at something that relates directly to their science curriculum.
“It’s all about linking what happens in the classroom to the world,” she explained.
“And getting students to see the types of opportunities there are for careers, their future, and things related to their education to have a better insight into really what goes on around them.
“Several students in the classrooms have parents who work for New Gold so they know first-hand how their in-class learning can be applied to the workplace,” Bujold added.
The presentation was very engaging for the students, who were able to ask questions on whatever topics they felt to be important.
Students asked questions like “How does mining impact the environment?” “How does New Gold know where the resources are located underground?” “How big is the mine?” and “What safety protocols are followed at the mine?”
Bujold was happy with the questions the class came up with and how they were engaged throughout the presentation.
“I was happy about the fact that these students asked questions about stewardship, the environment, and the effects of extracting something from the Earth,” she remarked.
Bujold also hoped the class learned about opportunities available to them locally, as well as the importance of being good stewards of the Earth when extracting minerals or resources.
New Gold mine planner Bryan Strahl delivered the presentation to the class and touched on many aspects of minerals and mining.
He spoke about the different types of rocks and passed different ores around the classroom for children to touch and hold.
Strahl educated the class on how rocks are blasted, the type of materials used, and how New Gold spends $1 million each month just on explosives.
A discussion on surface exploration and surveys was had by the class, who learned New Gold began surveying in the 1960s and spent 30 years preparing the lands where the site is located today.
“It take a long time to get a mine up and running,” Strahl said.
Bujold is thankful to Strahl and the entire New Gold team who helped make the presentation possible.
“I need to thank New Gold Inc. management and staff employees who were so receptive to supporting the learning needs of our students at St. Francis School and Our Lady of the Way School in Stratton,” she lauded.
“Bryan Strahl . . . did a marvellous job of helping our Grade 4 students connect what they have been learning in class to the mining that is going on in our area.  
“A big thank you to Ginger Bragg, community supervisor, and Alyson Bisson, community co-ordinator, who helped co-ordinate this effort,” Bujold added.
“We are really pleased to have created this community learning partnership.”