Prince Albert non-profit aims to draw national attention to prairie minerals with expanded essay contest

Daily Herald File Photo The winners of the 2023 CACERMDI Young Person of the Year were presented at Ecole St. Mary High School in 2023.

After a successful launch in June 2023, the Prince Albert non-profit responsible for organizing a local essay and quiz competition plans to take their efforts national

The Canadian Centre for Raw Materials Display Inc. (CACERMDI) has expanded an Essay and Quiz Competition to include the entire country. CACERMDI President Osagie “Leo” Ekhaguere said the contest will give students a chance to develop their writing skills and increase their knowledge, while also promoting mineral resources found in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba.

“We wanted to go around all the provinces and territories,” Ekhaguere explained. “We want all our youths across the country to write on this topic.”

The contest is open to Canadian students between the ages of 15 and 18. Ekhaguere said the goal was to get essays telling the world about the raw materials in the three provinces.

He said they are expanding because they are a federal corporation and wanted to use the reach they have across other provinces as well.

“We engage all the youth in the country,” he explained. “We want all our youth in our country to know about all the raw materials of our country at their fingertips.

“Some of them will grow up into trying to export some of these raw materials to other countries through their own ingenuity, through their own intelligence and some of them could be involved in the modification of these raw materials for our own use in making products that would make our life comfortable,” he added.

The essay should be original, written in English, and not more than 1,000 words. Proper citations and references must be provided and plagiarism will lead to automatic disqualification.

The contest began on Jan. 29 and will end on March 29. Ekhaguere said that they are expecting at least 100 essays or more from across Canada. The seven finalists would be invited to the winners announcement and quiz at the Prince Albert Public Library on Monday, April 8. Ekhaguere said that he wanted to promote the Library as well.

“We’re going to quiz them on the same topic, they wrote on the raw materials of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba,” he said.

Ekhaguere will again be promoting the contest at Ecole St. Mary High School, but has not finalized any promotion dates.

“It’s not a school event, it is a community event,” Ekhaguere said.

First prize is $500 and publication of the essay in the book of essays, website and social media platforms. Second prize is $200 and third prize is $100.

All seven participants would automatically become the CACERMDI Young Person of the year 2024. He said that they would bring people from all around the country for the contest.

“We are bringing them here to PA at the Public Library, so they will come here and they will partake of the quiz and we’ll have the quiz score to that of the essay like we did last year.”

After judging of the Quiz on April 8 the scores would be combined between the essay and the quiz to decide the final placing.

Ekhaguere said that they are hoping to add sponsors and he is working on partnerships.

Next year they may have sponsors so the prizes could increase but Ekhaguere said that they could still increase the prizes if they finalize partnerships before April 8.

“We are taking this essay up until March 29,” he said. “We have enough room for them to write, so by April 8, the date of announcement is also the day of the quiz.”

Anyone who is interested in writing an essay are asked to email it in either a PDF file or Word document to along with their name, age, and contact information.