SEG – Smithers Exploration Group

Sponsorship of geology week for Science Mom and Math Dad webinars (online)

April to June 2020

Science Mom and Math Dad are parents from the US who are also guest teachers at schools and have online webinars and videos. In mid-March when schools and businesses over the world were shutting down to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, they started up a daily science and math webinar that they called Quarantime for Kids who were no longer in the classroom. They had a week of mostly geology topics. SEG provided sponsorship to them to encourage the teaching of geoscience. We received links to the videos, printable worksheets and an introductory video thanking SEG and AME for sponsorship. These links have been distributed to the relevant teachers in the Smithers region that would normally be teaching this material to help support them with remote learning. Students, teachers and parents can participate in these webinars which are engaging with engineering challenges, quizzes and art. The links to these and other online educational resources were sent to Kispiox, Muheim, Twain Sullivan, Walnut Park, Witset and Telkwa Schools. This was in partnership with Below BC.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education

Creation of Online Resources

During social distancing measures and Covid-19 restrictions, there was work being done by SEG to develop online resources. SEG continues to develop online resources for students from elementary age to university age with Below BC using online 3D photos of rocks and by modifying physical versions of resources that we have developed over the last few years. Some examples that are ongoing include a rock cycle activity, geologic time scale activity, online and physical Smithers Geotour and online prospector course material for students and the general public.

Advertising in Local Media

Radio ads with CFNR (Canada’s First Nations Radio) were played for a week during Mining Month. These ads were referred to as Mining Nuggets and were short 15 minute ads which highlighted what mined items are used in certain everyday things, these were played on the air across Northwest BC and this station broadcasts to 82 communities in Central and Northern B.C. and is the exclusive commercial radio in 42 First Nations communities.

SEG took out 8 half-page ads in the local newspaper to help distribute outreach messages that were not able to done in person this year. This is being complemented with online and twitter support by the Interior News as well as Facebook posts on the SEG page. Two different ads have so far been printed. The first was support for Mining Month and corresponded with a Mining Supplement in the Interior News. SEG also provided an Exploration and Mining Summary which was printed along with graphs of exploration expenditures and drilling. Our second ad consisted of a Mining Feeds poster which we have previously used at Minerals Rocks displays.

A contest was launched for people to submit photos, lists, or a story relating to the non-renewable resources used in local food production. The winning entry was posted about using potash and phosphorus as well as sometimes applying micronutrients like copper, boron and zinc while growing grain and canola. The next ad will be for an updated Geocrawl which will be available in some locations as well as online.

For health and safety reasons during Covid-19, the following events were canceled:

March 21: Scavenger Hunt at the Ski Hill
March 27: Chamber on Tap open house with the Chamber of Commerce
April 3: Pacific NW Regional Science Fair
May 1 & 2 Chamber of Commerce Trade Expo Booth
May 8-14: Prospector Course
May 20: Mining Month Lunch with the Chamber of Commerce at the Prestige Lodge
April – June: School visits with hundreds of kids across the region
August 27-30: Bulkley Valley Fall Fair

Gitanyow Career Day

March 2020

This career fair in the small Indigenous community of Gitanyow had approximately 15 booths with information on training and careers in different industries. SEG had a display of interesting rocks and minerals including two pieces of obsidian, one for display and one for a draw prize, he brought 100 mini-mineral sets which highlight minerals that we use everyday and polished agates to give away, bookmarks and Minerals Ed activity books. There were also SEG directories, information on local projects and careers in the industry. More students attended this event than usual since it was not held on a non-instructional day this year.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education

Kispiox Day of Science

February 2020

Science World, local scientists and the school arranged a day of science for the Kispoix school. Other schools from Indigenous communities in the region were bused into Kispiox to experience this day. Science World did two sessions of amazing scientific experiments and presentations which had the kids enthralled. Between the sessions, students visited tables which had been set up by the other scientists with displays and activities. These ranged from the Augmented Reality Sandbox, drones, engineering with egg drop tests, forestry and geology. This year, SEG sent two geologists, Ted Vanderwart P. Geo. had a mineral identification activity at one table and Lorie Farrell P. Geo. had a display of rocks and minerals including more interactive rocks like pumice in water and magnetite at another table. There were also colouring books and bookmarks, and enough mini-mineral sets to hand out once kids completed the mineral ID activity.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education

Bulkley Valley Research Centre

February 2020

The Bulkley Valley Research Centre hosts bi-weekly presentations through the winter months for local scientists. The subject of this one was: What is responsible development? The presentation included understanding the role of planning, independent science, early engagement, and co-management to improve decision-making, reduce impacts and increase benefits to local communities. It also touched on best practices in mining and forestry, looked at how the northwest economy is changing, and provided some examples of innovation and diversification in the region.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Public Awareness and Education, Successful Exploration.

Gitanmaax Get Connected Career Fair

February 2020

This is the largest annual career fair in the region with over 1,000 people attending. In addition to the adults that attend, students are brought by bus from different communities through the day for a brief tour through the career fair. Attendees are given a “passport” that they need to get stamped at different booths, once it is filled out, they return it to be entered in a draw to win door prizes. Free lunches and snacks are available for people at the career fair and booths include employers, funders and educational institutions. Following the career fair there is DJ music and a dance until midnight.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; Public and Stakeholder Awareness and Education

Smithers CRC Cadets Group

February 2020

The Smither CRC Cadets group is a Grade 4 to 7 boys group that meets bi-weekly to do various activities including outdoor skills, woodworking or other relevant knowledge and skills. The activity for this meeting involved was for the Grade 5 group only and was a mineral identification activity run by Ted Vanderwart P. Geo. Thirteen mineral samples were randomly placed on papers labelled 1 to 13. The boys were supplied a list of the actual specimen names with key diagnostic features, supplementary information including Moh’s hardness scale and a list of different lustres. Steel nails, pennies, a hand lens, and a couple pen magnets were provided for the exercise. After a brief explanation of hardness and Moh’s scale and lustre, the group worked in pairs using the information and tools supplied to correctly identify the mineral. A recording sheet was provided for the boys to write the correct mineral name beside the sample number. The boys were given about 40 minutes to go through all the samples after which the samples were identified and a prize given to the group with the best score.

AME Strategic Plan component(s): Public Awareness and Education,