MineralsEd was borne from the realization in the late 1980s and early 1990s that there was little understanding of BC’s mineral resource and mining in school, and the available teaching materials were out of date. At the time, concerned educators advised the Mining Association of B.C. through their outreach volunteer, Maureen Lipkeiwch, that a solution that would benefit both education and industry was for teachers to develop up-to-date educational materials. The B.C. Ministry of Education and the B.C. Teachers' Federation corroborated this recommendation, at which point a partnership formed: classroom teachers would write and develop the classroom materials, and the BC minerals industry would support all aspects of the program's development and maintenance. This partnership remains the foundation of MineralsEd.
A team of outstanding teachers who believed strongly in the benefits of this partnership emerged from elementary and secondary classrooms across the province. Industry and other stakeholders provided them with the financial and in-kind support required, and access to all aspects of the industry and its expertise. With new information and a better understanding of minerals and mining, these teachers developed up-to-date and usable materials to share with other teachers. These original partner-teachers, and many others who have become involved with this partnership since, remain involved in all aspects of program – guiding, developing and presenting.
Our earliest initiatives were funded through the Mining Association of B.C. (MABC). As more materials and programs were developed, and demand from teachers grew, sustained financial support became essential. In 1994 the MABC Education Program Charitable Organization (M.A.B.C. E.P.C.O.) was established as a registered charity to garner financial support for all operations. This charity was officially renamed the Mineral Resources Education Program of British Columbia in 2004. The name MineralsEd was adopted in 2012 to brand all M.R.E.P.B.C. materials and programs.
Since 1991 MineralsEd has directly assisted more than 8,900 educators who, over this same period of time, are estimated to have taught minerals, mining or Earth science units in their K-12 classrooms to more than 800,000 students.