May 2012

Minerals for all ages

CMMF and Dynamic Earth collaborate on new learning tool

By Deborah Smith-Sauvé

The Canadian Mining and Metallurgical Foundation has partnered with Science North’s science centre, Dynamic Earth, to create a collection of mineral photo-cards – an innovative learning tool for primary and high school students.

The mineral photo-cards are designed to be informative, attractive, collectible, and just the right size for small hands. They are available at the educational M4S show, held during the 2012 CIM Conference & Exhibition in Edmonton, Alberta, May 3-5. Individual cards will be distributed free of charge to attendees. Each card will have a QR code and URLs printed on the back, so attendees can download the remaining cards. The cards  will also be offered to other educational outreach programs and exhibitions across Canada.

The set of cards, each featuring a photograph of a mineral, a short description of the mineral’s appearance and use, as well as other essential facts, will be printed in English, French and Inuktitut.

CMMF chose to collaborate with Dynamic Earth due to the centre’s demonstrated leadership and innovative approach to earth science and mining education. When CMMF identified the need for a learning tool that would document minerals in a suitable format for students and the general public, they discovered that comprehensive products were not widely available. The mineral photo-cards project was created as a vehicle to interest students in earth sciences while promoting the mining industry.

The partnership was a natural fit, as both CMMF and Dynamic Earth’s missions include the support and promotion of education. Each organization is contributing its strengths to the project. Dynamic Earth was delighted to work with CMMF because the centre owns an extensive collection of minerals that has been sorted and documented by a dedicated group of volunteers, and it has access to an in-house design team to create the appropriate card templates.

“This is an opportunity for us to showcase to Canadians the beauty and marvel of minerals and to highlight how they are important to our every day lives,” says Mia Boiridy, director of Dynamic Earth

CMMF contributed to the research phase through its connections with McGill University students and the Club de Minéralogie de Montréal, which played an important role in the project’s success, contributing research prowess, trans­­lation and more.

“The Club de Minéralogie de Montréal was delighted to participate in the project, especially given that the study of minerals is included in the school curriculum. These cards will greatly benefit primary and high school children, as well as our educators,” says Roger Guay, vice-president, Club de Minéralogie de Montréal.

The set of cards is being produced thanks to funds received by generous benefactors, as well as companies that are sponsoring the cards on a one-year or a  three-year basis. The cards will be distributed as widely as possible through networks, such as the CMMF and Dynamic Earth websites, CIM conferences, M4S and other events.  

The cost of sponsoring a mineral card is $1,000 per year or $2,500 for three years. For sponsorship information, please contact Deborah Smith-Sauvé at or (514) 939-2710 ext. 1334.

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