Natural Prairie Ecosystems

Free Knowledge Day

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Charlotte Morrissette
Email address of primary contact person: 
charlotte@rpirg.org
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

The Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG) hosted a one day event for students and community members to learn and participate in discussions on issues of public interest.  The issues discussed this year included: provincial politics and student/voting apathy (this was a highlight because the provincial election was happening shortly after the event. Note that we brought in a professor to speak, and also an aboriginal politically active community member as well), Saskatchewan Tar Sands (educating people on the effects of oil and tar sands that are coming to saskatchewan), Aboriginal issues within post-secondary education (unfortunately our speaker was sick and unable to make it),  Videos (we showed films about Nuclear power, mulitculturalism and discrimination), Queer theory (the executive director of GBLUR spoke about the "economics of hate and happiness" as it relates to gay and lesbian issues, university education and student apathy (we discussed what university is, used to be, should be...etc). We had different student groups tabling the event and providing information for students. The event was free and catering was purchased from the local organic food store Eat Healthy Foods.

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

The event was on September 22nd, 2008 and began at 10:00am and ran until 7:30pm. There were guest speakers every 1-2 hours, along with films and audio clips.

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
Student apathy, Tarsands, discrimination, queer theory, sustainability, environmental awareness.
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

The education was provided in a lecture-style format for most of the presentations. This would qualify as a formal-school type of education. Some well documented research was thoroughly provided and explained through slide shows, lectures and discussions.

What level of education does this project address?: 
Public awareness, for example, through the media (informal education)
Are there any research questions and opportunities that have or could be examined with this project?: 

There are many research topics that can be explored as a result of this event. The effects of tar sands and how it will affect sasaktchewan people (aboroginal people/homes/economies...etc in particular). Queer theory is a growing and expanding field with many opportunities for research on queer quality of life in canada, on campus and in the prairies. Research on why students don't vote, volunteer or engage themselves actively in issues of public interest compared to past generations. What is the university experience like for ethnic, gender and other visible minorities?

 

Publications (Has there been any documentation of this project/research?): 

To answer this question, you would have to discuss the particular works brought forth with the presentors. They were responsible for sharing their research, experiences and knowledge on particular issues.

Project sponsors/funders: 

Fully funded by: Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG)

How did you find out about this survey?: 

I was sent an email by Jill Arkles

Addional comments/suggestions: 

The "Theme Areas" are not very inclusive. There should, at least, have an "other" option.

EcoQuest Grade 8 Outdoor Classroom

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Scott Thompson
Email address of primary contact person: 
thompsons@spsd.sk.ca
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

Ecoquest is a unique ecological, outdoor adventure program for grade eight students that provides active and challenging learning experiences. With Saskatchewan's diverse landscape as the classroom, Ecoquest students participate in field studies that bring the curriculum to life. The students, who come from all over Saskatoon, work cooperatively and form a close community as they share exciting experiences and develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of environmental and social issues. Ecoquest students develop intellectually, socially, physically and spiritually while also enhancing their self-esteem and citizenship skills. This program's relevant and engaging experiential learning helps students to truly understand and critically evaluate real community issues that affect us all.  Instructional field studies range in scope from day trips in and around Saskatoon to major extended expeditions. Time is also spent in the classroom responding to and analyzing the out-of-school experiences and the data collected. All the required academic subjects are integrated into Ecoquest's three major themes - A Sense of Place, A Sense of Time and A Sense of Quality.  Expeditions in the prairie ecozone include backpacking in the Great Sandhills, Cypress Hills, and Eastend in April and canoeing along the South Saskatchewan River in May.

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

During the school year

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
outdoor education, grade 8 outdoor school, expeditions, active learning, hands-on learning, experiential education, adventure education, ecoliteracy
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

Ecoquest provides instruction in all required areas of study: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts Education, Physical Education, Practical and Applied Arts, Career Education, and Health.  The foundational objectives of each subject's curriculum are delivered in an integrated instructional format through a variety of instructional strategies that include research projects, experiential field studies, and extended excursions.

What level of education does this project address?: 
Elementary school
Middle years school
High school
Are there any research questions and opportunities that have or could be examined with this project?: 

We have had many people study our program and develop experiential programs of their own e.g. Earthkeepers, Lets Lead, Science Trek.
Many people work with our students who are active in research topics: forest ecology, wetlands, prairies, geology, architecture, First Nations studies etc. etc; between 50 to 75 people will work with our kids this year.  Our program is project based and has students actively researching, writing and presenting constantly throughout the year. Although their independent and group essays are unpublished, many of them become quite proficient at looking at qualitative and quantitative data.

Publications (Has there been any documentation of this project/research?): 

Janet McVittie with Curriculum Studies at the College of Education conducted a three year study called: Assessing the Hard to Assess: Learning in a Middle Years Outdoor Environmental School available online at the Stirling McDowell Foundation for Research Into Teaching

Project sponsors/funders: 

Student researcher

ScienceTrek

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Susana Chan
Email address of primary contact person: 
chans@spsd.sk.ca
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

Offered at Montgomery School, Science Trek is a field-based science program created to inspire Grade eight students to grow academically, socially, personally and culturally. Science Trek is highlighted by hands on out of school experiences intended to fuel a passion for science and learning. Science Trek promotes lifelong outdoor pursuits such as hiking, biking, swimming, skiing, camping and canoeing. The program helps to foster an understanding of the diversity of science and the impact of science on human culture and the environment.

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

During the school year

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
Formal education, outdoor education, prairie learning, hands on experience, experiential learning, grade eight
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

Students learn grade 8/9 science curricula and receive grade 9 credit for high school.

What level of education does this project address?: 
Middle years school
High school
Are there any research questions and opportunities that have or could be examined with this project?: 

Students work with University of Saskatchewan with the Let's Talk Science Program and students have worked at the Sanofi Biotech Challenge with university mentors

Project sponsors/funders: 

Cameco Corporation, Potash Corporation, Saskatchewan Environment, Ducks Unlimited, WISE (Women in Science and Engineering),

How did you find out about this survey?: 

student researcher

Live Owl Webcam

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Janet Ng
Email address of primary contact person: 
sboic@sasktel.net
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

Our Live Owl Webcam is a year round project where interested participants can visit our website and watch our live burrowing owls.  The Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre has eleven wild, rehabilitated burrowing owls that are permanent residents at the centre.  In the winter, you can watch the owls inside their cozy winter enclosure, and in the spring and summer, you can watch a burrowing owl nest development from a clutch of eggs to a group of young burrowing owls.  Contact sboic@sasktel.net for a learning program for our webcam.

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

Ongoing

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
burrowing owl, webcam, ornithology, nest, conservation, endangered species
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

This project can be an informal learning experience where participants learn about the different growth stages while watching the webcam when they have a spare moment.  Classes can also use the webcam to teach a structured program about the endangered burrowing owl and their nesting ecology.

What level of education does this project address?: 
Public awareness, for example, through the media (informal education)
Project sponsors/funders: 

Shell Environment Fund

How did you find out about this survey?: 

Kim

Addional comments/suggestions: 

It would nice if we could save our work.....

Wise Owlets Ecology Camp

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Janet Ng
Email address of primary contact person: 
sboic@sasktel.net
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

The Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre runs two weeks of day camps, titled Wise Owlets Ecology Camp.  Wise Owlets are naturalists for a day and learn about plants and animals.  Our creative programs incorporate conservation and science into games, crafts, and lots of hands-on activities.

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

July and August

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
day camp, ecology, environmental education, species at risk, burrowing owl, crafts, games, children
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

Formal environmental education in an informal setting.  Kids are lead through crafts, activities, and stories that incorporate information about their surrounding environment.  We emphasize Saskatchewan prairie plants and animals in our teachings.

What level of education does this project address?: 
Public awareness, for example, through the media (informal education)
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