SASKATOON – It’s wasn’t your typical day in the classroom for a group of grade eleven student who are enrolled in Saskatoon Public School’s outdoor program.
“We go out and experience all that nature has to offer rather than just sitting in a classroom,” said student Mackenzie Alexson.
On Thursday, students enjoyed the day at Brightwater Learning Centre, which is celebrating twenty-five years of teaching sustainable education.
“We’ve discovered over the past few years there’s been a disconnect of our youth with the land and with nature,” said Saskatoon Public Schools Brightwater project leader Teresa Clark.
“When they come here it’s the chance or an opportunity to really wonder, to explore and to discover their place in nature.”
Programming is developed around teaching both indigenous and western views of science and understanding the land.
“We need to bring that history back and we need to bring that knowledge back into our understanding of this space and this world,” said Clark.
“We also had an opportunity to go out with an ethnobotanist and she informed us about the different plants we can use around this land and even in Saskatchewan,” said Alexson.
Students spent the morning “creek dipping,” which let them analyze species up close and test chemical levels in Brightwater Creek.
“I’ve never really been a huge fan of bugs but when you take a close look at them and see the different parts you kind of forget and think ‘oh wow that’s really fascinating,'” said student Braden Cline.
Days like the one today provide students with much more than just an opportunity to get their hands dirty. It’s a way for them to make meaningful connections to the land and learn about all it has to offer.
“I think every time you take another dip in the pond you’re unearthing another whole ecosystem. It’s something completely different from what’s up here,” said Alexson.