Inside Education makes their way to the Grande Prairie area twice a year to provide programming for students to do face-to-face learning related to the environment and natural resources.
Educator with the organization, Andre Morson says the Evergreen Learning and Innovation Centre is one of the many places they can connect teachers with no-cost programming.
“This particular demo forest was set up basically to show different innovative ideas that industry has come up with to use, manage, collect resources and restore the forest. All of the different features of the learning centre are innovative ways that aren’t traditionally used in forestry practices.”
He says it adds enrichment and is important for students to get those hands-on experiences.
“It directly links to curriculum expectations that the teachers will be doing. It gives students an opportunity to come outside, talk about, learn, feel and smell all of the things that they are talking about in the classroom. Evergreen is super unique in that it showcases management of the Boreal.”
Forest uses within the economic region are also looked at with the excursion. A wide range of grade levels are accepted into the programs including grade four, six, junior high and senior high.
Their next fall event is from September 18 to 21 and although it is too close to get classes signed up, there is spring programming available through the society. According to Morson, in the spring of 2018, over 500 students participated in the learning experience over a two-week period.
“For us, it is really important to have the face-to-face interactions. So, students can engage with someone and ask questions as well as explore and learn together.”
Morson adds that their programming and opportunities are very broad. There are in-class programs available and citizen science programs which have students collect data for real scientists from across the province.
“We also do professional development programs for teachers. We offer programs related to different issues or questions surrounding our natural resources or the environment across Alberta.”
They offer youth summits, grants and help for education projects as well.
The organization is based out of Calgary, Edmonton and Fort McMurray.
UPDATE: Since the article was posted, an upcoming Professional Development opportunity has been announced. Morson says Grande Prairie teachers may be interested as it is about forest careers. The program is no cost and there is a substitute subsidy available.
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