The Province of British Columbia will be providing $300,000 to support the Britannia Mine Museum in the opening of a new exhibit, which will provide a unique and interactive environment to educate students and highlight innovations in mining.
The Terra Lab is a two-part STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning programming space that will offer elementary and high school students themed topics related to the life cycle of a modern mine. The program will be available to school groups by fall 2019.
The rest of the Terra Lab will be a public exhibit that shows the move toward more sustainability in the modern mining industry and is expected to open next year. The funding will provide renovations for the exhibit, as well as equipment and displays.
“Mining is a foundational industry for communities in every region throughout British Columbia,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “Ensuring young people learn about its history will no doubt inspire many to further build this industry’s future.”
The Britannia Mine Museum is a non-profit organization in Britannia Beach, south of Squamish on Howe Sound, that is governed by the Britannia Mine Museum Society. It preserves and presents artifacts that showcase the history of mining in British Columbia. It offers a range of curriculum-based programs, largely centred around STEM education. The museum hosts more than 11,000 students annually onsite, from kindergarten to post-secondary.
“We are extremely grateful for the provincial support,” said Leonie Tomlinson, chair of the Britannia Mine Museum board. “The museum’s education program focuses on providing interactive, hands-on learning opportunities for students that they cannot get in a regular classroom environment. The Terra Lab will be an ideal venue to learn about modern and sustainable mining practices and the importance of metals and minerals in our everyday lives.”
The funding, in part, supports the need for a co-ordinated communications and education strategy as outlined in the Mining Jobs Task Force report.
“Along with my colleagues on the Mining Jobs Task Force, we recognize the importance of working together in a collaborative manner to increase public awareness of the mining sector, and for the industry to be recognized as the backbone of an inclusive, progressive and low-carbon economy,” said Edie Thome, president and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration.
In June 2019, the Museum will be launching Boom!, a new live-action special effects experience that will transport visitors back in time to the 1920s when the mine was booming. At the time, it was the largest copper producer in the Commonwealth.
This funding coincides with the Mining Association of British Columbia’s Mining Month. This month-long celebration will see numerous events held around the province that highlight the important role that mining plays in the lives of all British Columbians. As part of Mining Month, the museum will be hosting their annual Family Fun Day on May 25 and 26, featuring mineral exhibits, interactive 3D visual mining technology and drilling demos.
Britannia Mine Museum: https://www.britanniaminemuseum.ca/
Mining Association of British Columbia’s Mining Month: www.mining.bc.ca/events