Making Sustainable Food Choices

Originally Posted February 6, 2011 Our grade 9 team recently completed a cross-disciplinary ‘challenge-based learning’ project as part of an Apple/New Media Consortium international research study. Challenge Based Learning is an approach to designing classroom work with many similarities to inquiry-based learning. CBL involves students engaging in real-world issues, conducting data-collection and analysis, and then designing and implementing a solution to an issue. You can access more information on Challenge Based Learning here on the Apple site. For our part of the research project, our grade 9s examined a number of issues related to sustainable and ethical food choices. The … Continue reading Making Sustainable Food Choices

Grade 4/7 Plants Collaborative Project

Candice Shaw The Grade 4 and 7 Math and Science teams were fortunate enough to attend the Calgary Science School/Rocky View Schools Cross Authority  STEM planning days in April. During these days, we were able to brainstorm, collaborate, and “flush out” a cross-grade collaborative unit. Both Grade 4 and 7 Science have units on Plants – Plant Growth and Changes (Grade 4) and Plants for Food and Fibre (Grade 7). The initial vision for the unit was created by Carolyn Armstrong and Deirdre Bailey, when they attended the Cross Authority Environmental Stewardship planning days. When Heather Melville and I jumped … Continue reading Grade 4/7 Plants Collaborative Project

CSS/RVSD Collaborative Planning

Greg Neil ~ Grade 6 Math/Science I signed up for the Environmental Planning Institute in order to have the opportunity to collaborate with teachers from other schools.  After five years of teaching at the Calgary Science School, I craved the opportunity to see what was happening in other classrooms and how other teachers approached inquiry-based learning.  During the tours of RVSD schools, I was immediately impressed with the way teachers approached student learning through rich questions that connected to numerous areas of the curriculum.  The inquiry questions I develop with my own students are often more directly connected to a … Continue reading CSS/RVSD Collaborative Planning

Leave it to Beavers Project Update

Stakeholders in the Leave it to Beavers project met recently to reflect on fall visits and to plan ahead for spring and beyond.Rachelle Haddock from the Miistakis Institute summarized the fall program including the great news that a few ‘nuisance’ beaver were located and trapped to be introduced to the reservoir. New Resident to Goodwin Pond by Rachelle Haddock Recently volunteers at the site have seen evidence that the beaver are indeed still present and are busy logging the nearby forest. A blind has been built near the reservoir with a webcam focused on the beavers’ dam, but we haven’t … Continue reading Leave it to Beavers Project Update

Trees and Forests Inquiry Grade 6

Does the Weaselhead Natural Area produce enough oxygen to sustain Calgarians? Greg Neil~ Grade 6 Math and Science Our grade 6 students investigated this question in their Math/Science classes this year. The question was developed as part of a brainstorming session with students. This inquiry required the use of numerous mathematical skills, introduced students to the idea of assumptions and bias in Science, reinforced the need for accurate data and provided an authentic investigation into an important natural region close to the school. A current proposal to build a ring road through this natural area, made this project even more … Continue reading Trees and Forests Inquiry Grade 6

Inquiring into Plant Growth and Changes in Grade 4

Amy Park and Deirdre Bailey Earlier this year we had a pretty cool opportunity to connect with Mount Royal University professor Dr. David Bird to co-present on Plant Growth and Changes for the Calgary Science Network. We were most eager for an opportunity to ask Dr. Bird what one one thing he wished his university students came in with that we might be able to foster in elementary school. His answer was unhesitatingly curiosity. He wished his students arrived at university with a desire, confidence and ability to ask scientific questions. Overwhelmingly, many of them arrived reluctant to explore, preferring instead … Continue reading Inquiring into Plant Growth and Changes in Grade 4

Bringing Beavers Back to the Cross Conservation Area – Site Visit #2

Parent Guest Blogger Denise Kitagawa Click here to visit “Out and About with the GeoKs”  Our first visit to the Cross Conservation Area Pine Creek watershed was back in June. Against a backdrop of tall, green grass and leafy trees, a multitude of insects, toads and birds blessed us with natural “music” over the course of the day. Things were a lot quieter during our second visit to the site, which took place in late September just after the students (now in grade 8) returned to school from their 3-day/2-night fall Outdoor Ed camp. The students were less boisterous than usual. … Continue reading Bringing Beavers Back to the Cross Conservation Area – Site Visit #2

Preparation for Camp Sweet = Increased Chance of a Safe and Fun Experience

Parent Guest Blogger Denise KitagawaClick here to read the entire post and to see her stunning photography.  One of the many amazing things about the Calgary Science School is the fact that students go on two overnight Outdoor Education trips each school year. One trip is to Camp Sweet (about 90 minutes outside of Calgary), where the students sleep in tents and spend a few days camping and exploring the woods and fields – including some free time splashing in the river if it’s warm enough. The other trip is grade dependent. This year, five out of six grades (500 … Continue reading Preparation for Camp Sweet = Increased Chance of a Safe and Fun Experience

Student Blogs “The Bamfield Diaries”

Student Guest Bloggers from grade 9 As a way to create an audience for their work, recently the grade 9 classes have begun blogging. As part of this process, students were asked to recount an experience they had during their week long adventure at Bamfield Marine Centre on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Here are some samples of their work along with their blog address. Students love when people visit their blog (we are keeping a class tally for the blogs with the most posts). Please visit their site and feel free to leave a comment. Day 1: Sunday, … Continue reading Student Blogs “The Bamfield Diaries”

Bringing Beavers Back to the Cross Conservation Area – Grade 7 Interactions and Ecosystems Field Study

-by Denise Kitagawa (Guest Parent Blogger) Earlier this month I had the privilege and pleasure of accompanying fifty grade 7 students from the Calgary Science School as they headed into the field to collect some baseline observations prior to the reintroduction of beavers to the Pine Creek watershed at the Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area. The Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area is located just southwest of Calgary and consists of 4800 acres of aspen forest and grassland habitats. A portion of the conservation area is open to the general public, with access controlled via an online booking system … Continue reading Bringing Beavers Back to the Cross Conservation Area – Grade 7 Interactions and Ecosystems Field Study