Imperial Oil donates $250,000 to help spark interest in geology, mining
The Imperial Oil Foundation has donated $250,000 to McMaster University to build an advanced 3D imaging laboratory that will grab the interest of high school students enough to encourage them to pursue studies in geology, mining and the Earth sciences.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held this morning to officially open the Imperial Oil 3D Imaging Laboratory, which will allow students and instructors to examine problems in a 3D environment.
It is one of only two in Ontario that incorporates geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing and geophysical software packages.
"The possibilities for this technology are remarkable and we are very fortunate to have the support of Imperial Oil," said John Capone, dean of science. "This is a big boost to our longstanding commitment to public education and outreach. With facilities of this calibre, we can attract young, bright high school students interested in the sciences to our campus, who may someday become undergraduates."
"At Imperial, we're strong believers in giving back to the community through programs that can make a difference to young people and their education, especially in the areas of science and technology," said Monica Samper, president of the Imperial Oil Foundation. "We're pleased to support this program that will help high school students and teachers incorporate the hands-on component of GIS education. We hope it will strengthen an interest in geography, geo technologies and spatial thinking in high school students and encourage them to become life-long learners of the sciences."
Led by Bill Morris, a professor in the Department of Geography & Earth Sciences, the program will include a series of comprehensive, one-day workshops - the Imperial Oil Learning Units on Remote Sensing - that will give students from high schools throughout Hamilton and the surrounding area the chance to learn about remote sensing, a key of GIS analysis.
In the lab, the high school students will have the opportunity to build a 3D model of downtown Hamilton, and use aerial photographs to map changes in Hamilton since 1945.
"Recent advances in the availability of satellite imagery, and our ability to interrogate this imagery using laptop computers, has dramatically changed the way we perceive our earth," said Morris. "Aspects of geology and physical and urban geography that we used to examine by looking at photographs in textbooks can now be directly studied using the new imagery."