EMS students spend service day at local tourist mine

Jesse Westbrook
October 28, 2015

This fall, 11 students in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences spent a day volunteering at Seldom Seen Tourist Coal Mine in Patton, Pennsylvania.

An active coal mine during the 40s and 50s, Seldom Seen now serves educational purposes and is preserved as a nonprofit attraction where the public can learn about the history of coal mining.

student painting mine cart

Penn State EMS students paint mine carts at Seldom Seen Coal Mine in Patton, Pennsylvania, this fall.

IMAGE: Sam Baker

The group, nine mining engineering majors and two environmental systems engineering majors, repainted mine carts and rock dusters (safety equipment for underground).

“Seldom Seen is always interested in volunteers that can spend their afternoon helping with some of the cleaning and painting,” said Sam Baker, a junior majoring in mining engineering and organizer of the trip.

Baker volunteered at the mine when he was a senior at State College Area High School and maintained his ties with the owner with hopes of volunteering again. The volunteer experience helped the students learn more about the environmental side of the mining industry.

“Studying environmental systems requires very diverse coursework and touches on parts of the mining industry,” said Celena Schrader, a senior majoring in environmental systems engineering.

Schrader’s interest in the mining industry grew after completing an internship with a phosphate mining company near Tampa, Florida.

“I was very interested in this volunteer opportunity because it helped me learn about the different aspects of mining processes that could impact the environment,” she says.

Schrader also spoke about the opportunity to interact with unfamiliar students in this setting.

“It was a lot of fun to get out and work on things with people who I wasn’t used to seeing everyday. I definitely plan on getting involved with more projects like this and encourage people with similar interests to do so as well,” she says.

Baker plans to rally another group of volunteers to return against in the spring.

“The group had a good time helping the owner and talking with everyone there about the mine. In the spring, we’re hoping to take on a larger project,” he said.

mine carts

Freshly repainted mine carts at Seldom Seen Tourist Coal Mine in Patton, Pennsylvania. Eleven Penn State students in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences spent a day this fall volunteering at the educational mine.

IMAGE: Sam Baker


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 04, 2015