Explosives Camp - Insanity or Cold Calculation?


In June 2007, Missouri Science & Technology (formally UMR) successfully held its 5th and 6th Explosives Summer Camps. The camps, which include substantial industry participation, have been an outstanding success with both the students and their parents. They have also spawned a large amount of local, state and national media attention, including NPR and an article in the New York Times on the 3rd of July 2007. The camps offer a smorgasbord of explosives activities to junior and senior high school students. “Explosives Camp” was started as an outgrowth of recruiting for the MST Mining Engineering and fledgling Explosives Engineering programs and a significant number of early camp attendees have changed their college plans to MST, and many their major to Mining Engineering. The failure to sustain strong enrollment numbers has resulted in the demise of roughly half of the mining engineering programs in the nation in the last 25 years, at a point when the industry is about to reach a critical turning point in human resources. The average age of employees of the largest US explosives company is over 50 and an estimated 5,000 engineers are due to retire from the mining industry over the next decade, with less than 150 mining graduates per year nationally. The paper not only details the make up of the camp and the rational behind it, including decisionmaking, but also discusses the pros and cons of holding the explosives camp, the associated media coverage and the concept of increased public awareness for the explosives and mining industries. Detailed numbers and statistics on the explosives camp are also given, along with recruiting numbers. An assessment of the parents sending their children to explosives camp is also made.


Mining Engineering

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Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2008 International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2008