STEM education has been a hot topic in the education community for years. Intuitively, we all know that education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math is critical in the high-tech, twenty-first century economy. What may be less apparent, however, is the pivotal role mining and miners play in the high-tech world.
Mining fuels the high-tech economy. Without a healthy mining industry, a company like Tesla can’t build a single battery, much less one of its sleek electric cars. Without the critical minerals Nevada produces, smartphones wouldn’t even rise to the level of “paperweight.” From lifesaving medical equipment to drones to renewable energy, Nevada miners work every day to fuel our demand for sleeker, faster, more powerful machines.
Many still perceive mining to be an “old” industry, picturing a grizzled prospector and a rusty pickaxe as his tool, today’s mining industry is the vision’s exact opposite. Hardworking men and women show up at Nevada mines every day equipped with equipment and knowledge exemplified in STEM education. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are tools of our industry.
Advanced sciences like geology, physics, and chemistry that tell us where to explore for minerals and how to extract them. All manner of advanced technology allow us to do the work we do every day as efficiently and – most importantly – as safely as possible. Engineers of every stripe build and maintain mines, monitoring every last detail. And just as minerals form the underpinnings of our 21st-century lifestyle, math is the topic that knits all the work we do together.
A strong STEM education is critical to our workforce and to our growth as an industry. That is why we are proud to partner with the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology this December to promote these important subjects in our schools. NVMA staff and members will spend this month touring the state and visiting classrooms to promote these subjects that are critical not just to our industry, but to our very way of life.