Mining is Us: A new way to do outreach

Dec. 1, 2022
Mining is us - Carolina Navia Vasquez

Geotechnical Engineer Carolina Navia Vasquez in the Sierrita mine

Who are the people that make up the mining industry? Many students and people outside the industry may be surprised to learn that it comprises more than just miners and mining engineers. The industry is filled with a diverse group of individuals, including geotechnical engineers, accountants, geologists, mechanics, pipe fitters, electricians, environmental scientists, and more.

A new video series created by the School of Mining and Mineral Resources Outreach team seeks to highlight many of the individuals involved in the industry to inspire youth to go into the industry. “Mining is Us” hopes to center mining around the fact that it takes everyone to  make a mine run from start to finish, and encourages young people to see themselves capable of entering the industry no matter what they might be passionate about.

“Media that talks about mineral resources is often too technical, out of date, or not written for a 9th to 12th grade audience. We'd like introduce students to young professionals in the industry who can show them what their careers are really like,” says Chris Earnest, K-12 Education Outreach Coordinator.

Carolina in front of monitors

Analysing geotechnical data

The first video highlights Carolina Navia Vasquez, a Geotechnical Engineer at Freeport-McMoRan whose job involves ensuring slope stability as materials are moved in the mine. “One of our main jobs is to keep everybody safe,” says Vasquez. Her job role involves leading her team and examining imaging technology to measure slope stability and other geomechanical elements during mining operations. Predicting failures is vital in her role as a Geotechnical Engineer.

Students who want to help the world can find their perfect career in mining, says Vasquez. Vasquez also talks about why she loves her role. Not only is she proud of her work but she likes how “every day is different.” She loves being able to learn new things.

The videos will hopefully be a full series for educators to show their students about the diverse world of mining. Videos will prep students prior to the Outreach team coming into a classroom to develop questions.

The education outreach team presents hands on STEM activities to K-12 classrooms throughout Arizona to help students discover how they use mineral resources in their everyday lives. We also introduce them to the education and career opportunities available in fields that involve mineral resources,” says Earnest.

“Mining is open to everyone,” says Vasquez. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman, or come from different places around the globe. You can change the world by stepping into the mining industry.

Want to bring the Outreach team to your classroom? Fill out this form!