We have been spending lots of time this last month learning all about Geology, the environment and of course the history of Vancouver. Being able to find amazing experts all over our city to help supplement my kids homeschooling has been a true blessing. Being able to hear, see, smell and touch history and learn all about the science behind a mine was a spectacular experience. Here in Vancouver we are lucky enough to have the amazing Britannia Mine Museum which used to be a working mine until 1974.
Since Britannia Mine Museum is a living piece of history I knew it was an amazing idea for a field trip for our family – especially after reviewing their teaching resources online. They make simple to focus your lesson plans for both before and after your visit. Their wealth of information comes from their years and years of experience being a functional mine from 1904 to 1974. So you know you are in good hands when it comes to your kids education in this space.
When you arrive you will want to make your way up to the tunnel ride where you will get to actually head inside the mountain the through a 100 year old tunnel! Here your tour guide will take you to learn all about the working environment inside the mine, the equipment the used over the many years of operation AND you’ll even get to experience true darkness and hear just how loud the drills where inside the mines. It is quite the experience and definitely amazing experience based learning for your little ones, and yourself!
Of course you can’t forget to let the rest of the mine know that you and your group have finished up your mine tour and have safely exited the mine. How do we do that?? A super loud whistle of course, this was one of my kids favorite parts. Do keep ear protection in mind for those who are sensitive to loud noises, any ear protection would have to fit in unison with a hard hat.
Once you are finished touring the inner workings of the mines it is time to head down to the BOOM! show which is perfectly timed for a few minutes after the tunnel tour is complete. They have a great system in place in terms of timing and spacing of all guests it is really great and you feel very at ease, but please do wear masks.
BOOM! is a really incredible show that actually brings the mine itself back to life and this was our first time experiencing it. Our last visit we didn’t have BOOM! making this visit really special for all of us. Their movie is not only exciting but it is educational making it perfect for your family to enjoy while backing up their education. They have gone above and beyond with BOOM! and I absolutely loved it. You can hear what the mine sounded like back when it is was in action and you get to hear a real first hand account from an old member of the mining town community.
You can see a big difference in my family in these two pictures (left) was from our last visit just after the BOOM! show and (right) is from our first visit before BOOM! was even a thing.
It is amazing to see how much the museum and my family have grown and I love that each time we have come we have learnt so much about the mine, the amazing community of people that lived there running it, and all the cool minerals and rocks that my boys just can’t get enough of no matter how big they get! Make sure to book your tickets for your family field trip to Britannia Mine Museum you wont regret making a day of amazing memories.
Britannia Mine Museum – Lesson Plan Focus Points:
Recycling – the three R’s are a great thing to focus on. Britannia Mine was a copper mine and copper is a reusable resource.
Geology – Types of rocks, Types of mined minerals and their uses.
Environmental Restoration/Damages – What affect did mines in the 1900’s have on their local environment? What was the community environment like? What efforts are being made to correct any environmental damages created during the mining process? How do mines nowadays assess environmental impacts??
History – How did tools evolve and why? How did the community live (i.e. walks of life, annual community celebrations, pandemics etc…)
If you are planning a trip out to Britannia Mines make sure to book online in advance as they do have limited capacity in place for COVID procedures, avoid any waits of disappointments by planning ahead! Family groups larger than 4 will have to call in to book as their booking system only allows ticket purchases in 4’s. Their staff are always happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have prior to visiting so don’t hesitate to give them a shout!