45th All About Mining Class Graduates 17


Dan Witkowsky, Course Coordinator

After watching the pouring of a $900,000 dore button weighing 65 to 70 pounds, during the visit to AngoGold Ashanti’s Cresson Mine at Victor, CO, teachers get to examine it up-close.   

       With nine, intensive days of classroom lectures coupled with nine full-days of field trips to various metals, industrial minerals, aggregates, and energy operations, the Colorado Mining Association Education Foundation (CMAEF) graduated 16, K-12 teachers and a museum curator, from the annual All About Mining class (www.AllAboutMining.org) held at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). The 17 educators came to CSM from across the State of Colorado, as well as from Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona,and Illinois. Hard to believe, but every phase of the mining industry was covered, with even a futuristic look at mining the sea floor and mining the solar system!  For a fun diversion, even explosives in fireworks was discussed on July 3rd!

       “Only 17 teachers?” one might ask.  The perceived “small” number of educators can be deceiving for an acclaimed class that has been limited to only 38 educators/year for many years.  The strict limitation on class size is, however, based upon necessity – only that number of teachers can be transported underground at two, key mines that are visited during the course.  (To ensure a high quality tour for the educators, one of the mines prefers a maximum of 24!)  Instead, what one should remember is the total number of K-12 students and their families who are impacted by the teacher-graduates every year for the duration of the teachers’ respective careers!  From this summer’s class, one teacher working at Outdoor Lab in Jefferson County, CO, will work with more than 4000 middle school children per year, every year!  The museum curator who attended the class helps about 2000 students better understand geology, and, now, mining!  Each of the other educators in the class have a lesser, but still very significant, impact when teaching anywhere from 20 to 325 students every year!  And there are now 1565 graduates of the course in the U.S. and around the world, hopefully most of them still influencing their students. 

       Special thanks to Paul Jones, CMAEF President; and William R. Wilson, member of the CMAEF Board; for making recordings of this summer’s classroom lectures for the possible conversion of All About Mining to an online format in the future.  Final editing of this massive collection of recordings is now nearing completion. 

       Educators are now being sought for the June 23, to July 18, 2014, class. With tight school budgets and frozen salaries for teachers in many districts, SME members are asked to help solicit teachers, school administrators, counselors, and all librarians and museum curators, for this important program that enables these education professionals, during their careers, to present an accurate and unbiased perspective of mining to K-12 students.  If you can recommend an educator for the program, please have him/her contact Dan Witkowsky, Course Coordinator, at 303-972-1814, or DanielWitkowsky@aol.com.  If you would like to financially support a teacher or the program, please contact Alan Cram, CMAEF Secretary/Treasurer, at 303-588-8633 or abcram08@gmail.com.  

Educators getting hands-on expertise in measuring strike and dip during the full-day, “Colorado Front Range Geology ” field trip.

Just moving an EX5500 from Point A to Point B at the Cresson Mine requires a high-tech undercarriage slightly bigger than an average K-12 teacher!

What better word than “GARGANTUAN” can describe teeth bigger than those in the mouth of an allosaurus, but on a 39.5 cubic yard bucket of a Hitachi EX5500 shovel at the Cresson Mine?