First ever Essay and Quiz competition for Raw Materials at Ecole St. Mary

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Osagie “Leo” Ekhaguere discussed the Essay and Quiz Contest with students from Ecole St. Mary High School at his display on Friday, June 9.

The Canadian Centre for Raw Materials Display Inc. CACERMDI is using Ecole St. Mary High School as the home base for their first annual Essay and Quiz competition.

Last week, the non-profit set up a booth at the school to encourage students to write essays about mining and raw materials.

Osagie “Leo” Ekhaguere, the President of the Canadian Centre for Raw Materials Display, created the organization based on work he did in his home country of Nigeria.

“Before coming to Canada, I was the head of the State Raw Materials Center in Nigeria. Now, when I came to Canada about five years ago, I found out that there was no Raw Materials Centre in Canada, so I decided to create one,” Ekhaguere said.

He explained that his other full-time work would not allow him to give the Centre attention. So he left his job last year in November and came back to Saskatchewan, where the corporation was converted to a not for profit.

Ekhaguere said the goal is to help educate students, and give back to the communities they live in.

“As a not for profit, we decided to look at what can we do to benefit the community because the centre was created to disseminate essential information on the availability of raw materials, industrial raw materials,” he said.

The first topic of essays was “Global Shortage of Raw Materials: Causes, Effects and Solutions”.

Ekhaguere had samples of Potash from Nutrien and various mines such as Colonsay and Lanigan. They had also got samples from other places across Canada.

“We decided to tailor our program towards the end of the school year so that we can have end of the year display raw materials to students,” he explained.

Along with the raw materials display, they also launched the annual essay contest. All essays will be marked, and the top students will be invited for a quiz competition on Saturday, June 17.

The quiz score will be added to the score of the essay to find the best possible score. The winner will be named Centre for Raw Material Kid of the Year and receive a medal and a gift card.

Raw Material Week will end June 16 at Ecole St. Mary High School.

The quiz competition would focus on all raw materials in Canada, emphasizing the ones Canada is leading in terms of production and the ones imported into Canada from other countries. A few questions would be asked about the raw materials of other countries.

“Now we just encourage them to write (essays),” Ekhaguere said. “They’ve not seen these before. This is the first time it has been organized in all of Canada and this is our best school to organize the event.”

Ekhaguere said he chose Ecole St. Mary because all of his children attend Ecole St. Anne.

“It’s a community that I live in, (and) they live in,” he explained. “This is the only high school that belongs to the Catholic Schools, so we decided to use this place for our first take off and that is why we are here.

Ekhaguere said the initial interaction was positive.

“The kids, they love it a lot,” he said.

Students would ask if the potash was fertilizer, and he would say it was what made fertilizer.

“They were close, I said I will bring it and show you how it was made, I will also bring you the raw materials used in making it. We have been having lots of interesting times with the students and teachers.

He explained that the plan is to start small in Prince Albert before expanding to the rest of Saskatchewan.

“This is the first time we are doing it in the whole of Canada,” he said. “By next year, we may do it here so we can increase the publicity.”