Mining Engineering Pre-College Camp Scholarships

Institution: Michigan Technological University
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Why This Project Is Important 

2014 President of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) John Marsden summed up key mining-related workforce issues in an introduction to an Mining Engineering article (October 2014, 66(10), p. 21) outlining, “The state of mining education: What does the future hold for the next generation?” In his piece, he reported statistics such as that two-thirds of the professionals who entered the mineral industry over the past 4 decades graduated before 1985.  Making average age in the workforce approaching 50, higher than the national average according to Bloomberg1. Marsden wrote, “Since 1985, we have been living off the legacy of graduation classes from the mid-1970s and early 1980s. It is estimated that we have been producing graduates at approximately 40 to 50 percent of the sustaining rate since about 1985.” Bloomberg reported news from SME: “Fourteen U.S. schools offer mining-engineering degrees, compared with 30 in 1982. In 2011, there were only 178 graduates who majored in mining engineering, down from 700 in 1982.” Forbes magazine cited2 a January 2012 report by SME which estimates the mining industry will need 78,000 new U.S. workers to replace retirees and feed an industry that has been surging after a decade of a bull market in commodities. James Steel, Chief Commodities Analyst for HSBC, summed it up in an August 2014 article3: "The world’s precious-metals producers face a growing problem in recruiting and retaining a skilled and professional workforce.  Declining enrollment in higher education in mining and fields such as engineering, geology, geophysics and metallurgy in the 1990s has produced a demographic dip in younger recruits.  This shortage is aggravated by an aging workforce. Retired mining engineers and geophysicists are increasingly being asked to return." 

Industry needs are obvious and with time should help attract new students into mining engineering programs and careers. In the short term, however, meeting the needs with new graduates will be challenging due to the rather low-volume pipeline in university programs. Re-opening the mining engineering program at Michigan Technological University will contribute to the industry workforce needs only if the program can attract students. The academic program will be designed by faculty with input from industry to meet current and future needs. Michigan Tech's Summer Youth Programs Mining Exploration will be designed to help fill the pipeline with young people who may choose to pursue education and careers in mining. Excitement among the students who will be the next generation of mining engineers will be fostered through hands-on activities and field trips and contact with mining professionals.  


Project Description 

Scholarships for the Mining Engineering exploration at SYP will provide 9-11th grade students the chance to get a first-hand look at the mining industry. For many of these students, your donation will create an opportunity to discover their own potential for success in a field that needs their skills and creative problem-solving skills. Led by Michigan Tech faculty, staff, and graduate students, participants will: - Create concept maps of mines, including underground layout and above-ground logistics - Learn about a wide range of minerals, their properties, and their uses (including cutting, polishing, and other sample work) - Tour local mines including Adventure Mine, Cliff Mine, and Quincy Mine to learn about their history, processes, and careers - Meet professional role models working in industry This program needs your sponsorship to provide opportunities to as many future mining engineers as possible. Students applying for the program are highly curious and motivated young people. They come from around the country and widely varying backgrounds to ignite their passion and engage in an experience that will shape their lives and benefit society.

Meet the Researchers

Liz Fujita

Liz is a Coordinator at Michigan Tech's Center for Pre-College Outreach. Her outreach focus is on programs to benefit local students: GEAR UP (11th grade college readiness), after-school STEM clubs, and events for local students (including Get WISE and Engineering Olympics). She graduated from Michigan Tech in 2012 with a dual degree in mathematics and social science.

Cody Kangas

As Director of the Center for Pre-College Outreach at Michigan Tech, Cody leads a team of six to deliver three innovative university flagship operatives--Mind Trekkers, Summer Youth Programs, College Access Programs--as well as develop the Pre-College Innovative Outreach Institute. Prior to coming to Michigan Tech in 2008, Cody worked in several academic and athletic outreach programs, including Ann Arbor Public Schools and the United States Olympic Committee. While at Michigan Tech Cody has served on a number of task forces and steering committees, managed the delivery of innovative outreach programming for several hundred-thousand students and families through federal and private-funded sponsors, and created effective partnerships with stakeholders across K-12 schools, industry representatives, and non-profit organizations. Cody holds an MAED in Postsecondary Leadership from Michigan State University, and a BA in Sport Management from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is a proud father of two girls and spends his free time with his wife and family, traveling, and playing the guitar.

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What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Provide scholarships for students to attend Mining Engineering at SYP

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Thank you card, photo of students

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