About the Award
The Frank Arnott - Next Generation Explorers Award (NGEA™) is an international competition where teams of mineral geoscience university students collaborate and innovate to transform geoscience data sets into their interpretation of the subsurface geology and mineralisation targets.
The NGEA™ challenge is open to students who are either currently enrolled in an undergraduate earth science degree or post-graduate research (masters or PhD) at the time of registering for the challenge. Teams are encouraged to be multi-disciplinary and include members from other fields of study (i.e., engineers, data scientists, economists, social scientists, etc.).
The top three winning teams will receive cash prizes of a minimum of CAN$5,000 for the first-place team, CAN$3,000 for second place and CAN$2,000 for third. These amounts may increase based on sponsorship levels.
With the final contestants presenting live at the PDAC 2021 convention, the NGEA™ will contribute funds for the flight and accommodation costs to Toronto for 2 to 4 members of the finalist teams.
The intent of the NGEA™ is to provide students with industry-relevant learning experiences utilising modern, pre-competitive datasets from around the world. The outcome will build a sustainable supply of enthusiastic, skilled geoscientists that can steer the mineral industry going forward.
What are the benefits to participants? Opportunities to collaborate with multi-disciplinary groups from their own academic institution and/or from other universities, gain hands-on experience working with modern data types encountered in real-world scenarios/future employment, improve their leadership and team-based soft skills, receive feedback and recognition by the mineral exploration industry and expand their industry networks and potential employment opportunities.
Datasets for interpretation: Students will be able to select from a set of provided regional high-quality datasets from around the globe.
Software: Educational versions of Geosoft’s Oasis montaj and Seequent’s Leapfrog Geo will be provided to registered teams for working with the selected dataset.
Judging: Independent judges will evaluate the results using the Assessment Rubric (located under Resources - Submission Guidelines) which speak to innovation in data integration and visualisation, application of methodologies new to earth sciences, exploration significance of team findings and discernible evidence of collaboration within the team.
The NGEA™ is proudly hosted by the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), the leading voice of the mineral exploration and development community. With over 7,500 members around the world, PDAC’s work centres on supporting a competitive, responsible mineral sector. PDAC is known worldwide for its annual PDAC Convention — the premier international event for the industry — that has attracted over 25,000 people from 135 countries in recent years.