Science Education
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馃殌 Exploring the Future of Mining: Lab4U and SQM Transforming STEM Learning to Empower 21st Century Talent 馃彮


By Lab4U Team

Lab4U and SQM are developing the third edition of the NorTEduca Program, aiming to offer an innovative educational experience by showcasing SQM’s production processes. This opens the doors to the fascinating world of the mining industry, where science and technology converge.

In the regions of Tarapac谩 and Antofagasta, students from 7 schools can dive into different mining themes and understand how science, technology, and sustainability come together to tackle the challenges of the sector.

These experiences have been specially designed to provide practical and in-depth learning through experimentation, allowing participants to explore firsthand the various processes and stages of mining. There are 5 branded experiments developed by Lab4U, revealing some of the production processes carried out by SQM to obtain its minerals:

Students can learn how solubility relates to the crystallization process used by SQM for mineral purification.

To analyze the flow rate of extracting a brine pulp using a hydraulic pump.

Allows studying the behavior of fluids at different temperatures, simulating the Solar Evaporation Pools of brines used by SQM to obtain lithium.

Did you know? To produce iodine at SQM, caliche is extracted from the desert, transported, and piled up. Then, these piles are sprayed with water in a process called cold leaching, to extract minerals from the caliche. With this experiment, students will analyze factors that can influence fluid mobility.

Nitrate (NO3-) is one of the main compounds in fertilizers and can be naturally produced by extracting it from caliche and brines in the Atacama Desert. This allows Chile, through the work of SQM, to be a world leader in the production of naturally sourced potassium nitrate with the lowest carbon footprint, chlorine-free, and 100% soluble. This enables a more rational use of water for irrigation, increasing the quality and yield of various crops.

We are proud to continue empowering the motivation and learning of over 3,000 students in northern Chile. STEM talent that will become the minds successfully facing the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly technologized and sustainable industry.

We invite you to discover the NorTEduca experience in the voices of our protagonists. How students and teachers are transforming the way of learning and teaching sciences, becoming young leaders… from Chile to the world!

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