Today I had the opportunity to talk to my step-daughter's class about mining and the environment. I had a great time and the students had a ton of questions - something that shows me they are interested. I talked about how the different stages of mining impact the environment as well as how that impact is managed in Canada compared to other countries. Something I talked about, that I think the teacher was even surprised about, is how grizzly bears are positively impacted because of mining activities in Alberta which was discussed and reported on here. My new job is going to be focusing on reclamation of an open pit mine and it was great to share this side of mining. Unfortunately, mining gets a bad name, especially when it comes to the environment. Historically, that was definitely the case but in some countries, that really isn't the case anymore. It was great to share this side of mining with young people to allow them to decide for themselves whether the benefits of mining outweigh the negative impacts. Their questions meant that we also talked about human safety in mining, sustainability, how non-native plant species impact the local environment, and general mining information like the difference between underground and open pit mining. I was talking to them for over an hour and they were engaged the whole time.
The only negative aspect of this experience is that I was only able to talk to one class. Given how interested this class was, I think I'm going to have to reach out to the school to see if this would be beneficial for other classes.
What about my readers? Have you ever been able to go into a classroom to talk about your expertise? How has it gone?