Raincoast Field School - Spring 2017 (Tofino)

This is the 3rd year that the Raincoast Education Society has been collaborating with Wickaninnish Community School to deliver outdoor, experiential programs for Tofino's youth. Students of all 10 classes at the elementary school receive regular Field School excursions, and most are studying a year-round theme such as sustainability, biodiversity or local ecosystem dynamics. Each Field School outing is designed to complement the class theme. Adventures range from hiking on Meares Island, to surfing, mudflat and intertidal ecology, and more! We are so grateful for the community support that allows the Raincoast Field School to continue each season!

- Ariane Batic
Raincoast Field School Coordinator for Tofino

Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (June 23)
Mr. Grigg’s grade 4/5 class

Students headed out to Schooner Cove to investigate the characteristics and identification features of plants that inhabit the coastal temperate rainforest. After learning about scientific drawings earlier in the week, students completed scientific drawings of an unknown plant, and then learned about biodiversity in the forest.



Raincoast Field School, Spring Session, (June 22)
Ms. Aujla and Ms. Hansen’s grade 6/7 class

After learning the basics of current electricity and solar energy, students collaborated to wire a solar panel to a 12V battery, then used a multi-meter to test the battery voltage…Ta-Da!  The sun was charging the battery. Students suggested that the school’s roof get covered in solar panels - not a bad idea, grade 6/7s!



Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (June 22)

Ms. Copeland’s grade 2/3 class

After focusing on plant growth and diversity throughout the school year, students learned more about local plants with a forest scavenger hunt that required them to use all 5 senses to observe their surroundings. Afterward, students practiced their teamwork skills with beach games in the sunshine!



Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (June 20)

Ms. Aujla and Ms. Hansen’s grade 6/7 class

After learning about electricity in class, students headed outside to learn about renewable energy! Students learned how direct current (DC) works by participating in an electron race and also learned what voltage is. Afterwards, students set up solar panels test the efficiency of the panel at different angles.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (June 20)
Mr. Grigg’s grade 4/5 class

Students headed into the school forest to learn how to make a scientific drawing, take detailed field notes, and then noted some key identification features of local plants.



Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (June 16)
Ms. Seibel’s grade 1 class

Students spent a beautiful day learning and exploring at Schooner Cove. Along with Tsimka Martin, students learned about the biodiversity of the rainforest and the importance of salmon. At the beach they investigated the intertidal zone and tied it all together with a game of bear, salmon, mosquito!

 


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (June 14)
Ms. McLane’s kindergarten class

After an introduction to intertidal life a few weeks ago, students learned how to observe intertidal invertebrates carefully and respectfully. After some exploring, students learned how these creatures interact with one another, and how to identify creatures in this unique ecosystem!


 


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (June 12)
Ms. Burrow’s grade 1/2  class

Students have been learning all about terrestrial megafauna this spring, and today they got to learn about the importance of mudflats for local animals – and how to search for signs that these animals have recently passed through!



Raincoast Field School, Spring Session - Campout! (June 5-8)
Ms. Morris’s grade 5/6 class

What an amazing week of camping! Students used their excellent teamwork skills to build their home for the week. After a school year of learning about the coastal temperate rainforest, students further explored the interface between the land and the sea by learning about kelp forest dynamics and the importance of the spruce fringe.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session - Campout! (May 31- June 2)

Ms. Hovi’s grade 3/4 class

What a camping extravaganza on Meares Island! After spending the school year learning about biodiversity and sustainable land use, students got to deepen their knowledge by learning about local plants and animals during a hike on Lone Cone Mountain and some time in the intertidal zone. Students also put their teamwork skills to good use by building some shelters in the camp.



Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (May 26)
Ms. Morris’s grade 5/6 class

After spending the bulk of the school year learning about the rainforest ecosystem, students headed to South Beach to study where the land meets the sea! Students learned about the spruce fringe and kelp forests, while drawing parallels between terrestrial forests and kelp forests.



Raincoast Field School, in partnership with Connecting Students with Wildlife Project, Spring Session (May 18)

Mr. Grigg’s grade 4/5 class

After spending a few weeks learning all about animal tracking with the Connecting Students with Wildlife Project, students headed out to the mudflats to test their knowledge and track animals in the coastal forest and in the mud! Students found squirrel middens, burrows, raccoon tracks, and shorebird tracks.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (May 17)
Ms. Seibel’s grade 1 class

Led by cultural educator Gisele Martin, students explored the beaches and forests on Echachis. Gisele spoke about the Nuu-chah-nulth whaling practices, while exploring the expansive whale middens left on the island.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (May 16)

Mr. Clarke’s kindergarten class

Students headed out to Echachis for a sunny, fun-filled day with cultural educator Gisele Martin! After exploring the intertidal zone, students learned about respecting the land and sea, went for a hike, and even got to see the blow hole go off!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (May 12)

Ms. Morris’s grade 5/6 class

Students have been learning about the structure of the rainforest in class. To compliment the classroom lessons, students headed out to examine different states of rainforest (old growth, 2nd growth, and 2nd growth restored) in Clayoqout Sound. Students also participated in local restoration efforts by planting trees in the riparian zone.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (May 11)

Ms. Copeland’s grade 2/3 class

With a focus on connecting our local community to the global community, students went down to the dock to gather data on boats in Tofino. After discovering everything from crab fishing boats, to geoduck diving boats to recreational sailing boats, students had a group discussion about the impacts of fishing in Tofino on the rest of the world, and the impact the rest of the world has on Tofino.



Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (May 11)

Ms. Michaud’s grade 2/3 class

As a wrap up to their intertidal project, students headed to Tonquin Beach once more to investigate the lowest part of the intertidal zone. Some students discovered species they had never seen before! This was the final day to create scientific drawings and make detailed field notes about interactions between organisms in the intertidal zone before creating an instillation at the school!



 

Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (May 10)
Ms. Burrows grade 1/2 class

As part of their studies on terrestrial animals, students went out to Wickanninish beach to learn about the importance of sand dunes as a habitat. Students also learned about shorebird migration, and wrapped up the day in the bog to look closely at the bog ecosystem by getting up close and personal with a bog plant!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (May 5)
Ms. Morris' grade 5/6 class

Students have been learning all about the riparian zone in class, and today they got to learn about salmon streams from the restoration experts! Central Westcoast Forest Society's biologists showed students different stages of restored riparian zones, and then students got a sneak peak into smolt trap monitoring. Big thank you to CWFS staff for their time and energy!



Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (May 4)

Ms. McLane’s kindergarten class

In morning fog and afternoon sunshine, students learned about and explored the intertidal zone at Tonquin Beach and then got a surprise guest… a spyhopping whale!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (May 2)
Ms. Michaud’s grade 2/3 class

Students are part way through their intertidal zonation project, and they headed out to Cox Bay to make observations and scientific drawings on species in the lowest part of the intertidal zone. Today’s intertidal models were sea stars, gooseneck barnacles and chitons.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (May 1)
Ms. Seibel’s grade 1/2 class

After learning about cardinal directions by racing North, South, West and East in the school field, students made predictions about cloud and weather movements for the week. Students all spent time making observations by seeking out unique patterns in the sky to test their predictions!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (April 28)
Ms. Hovi’s grade 3/4 class

Students walked the Schooner trail to identify and learn about different habitats in the coastal environment. From salmon streams to murrelet nests to bug-filled nurse logs to intertidal rocks, students used their scientific observation skills to seek out unique habitats and discuss the features, benefits, and challenges of each.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (April 27)
Ms. Hansen and Ms. Aujla’s grade 6/7 class

In partnership with Gisele Martin, students learned about the dynamics of rainforest the sand dune ecosystems. To get an even closer look, students sat with an unfamiliar dune plant while observing its features and asking questions about the plant’s survival techniques and interactions with other species.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (April 26)
In partnership with Tofino Heartwood School

Students spent a beauty of a day on Echachis Island! The morning rain quickly changed to sunshine and students learned more about respecting the natural landscape and important stories about this unique island from Cultural Educator Gisele Martin.


 


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (April 25)

Ms. Morris's grade 5/6 class

After learning about the importance of water, students went out into the forest to learn about natural water filtration systems and to investigate the most effective way to construct their own water filtration system using natural materials. Snacks over the fire in the rain was an added bonus to this fun, water-filled day!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (April 18)
Ms. Michaud’s grade 2/3 class

Students are learning how to make scientific drawings, and today they headed to Tonquin Beach to observe intertidal creatures. Using their field observation skills, students made detailed drawings of sea anemones and mussels while taking notes of their habitat and asking questions about the animals’ lifestyle.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (April 13)

Ms. Copeland’s grade 2/3 class

As an introduction to the importance of water and natural resources, students hiked out to the water tower. Students made observations about water movement along the trail, made predictions about the volume of water in the tower and discussed the seasonal changes of water in our community. Next up students will learn about how water affects living organisms in their ecosystems and play a water cycle game with their big buddies (the grade 5/6 class).


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (April 12)

Ms. Burrow’s grade 1/2 class

Students are learning all about terrestrial ecosystems in class, and today they got to explore the rainforest ecosystem and search for bugs and slugs! With a magnifying glass in hand, students used their observation skills to find tiny critters, discuss their habitat and ask questions about their survival techniques.



Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (April 11)
Ms. Morris’s grade 5/6 class

After learning about the importance of water in class, students worked in teams to invent a fun, active and educational game about the water cycle. After some brainstorming and teamwork, students tested out their game while considering its effectiveness and reflecting on any improvements they might need. Next up students will take the lead and use their newfound game to teach their little buddies (grade 2/3) how water moves around our world!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Session (April 4)

Ms. Hovi's Grade 3/4 class

After study rocks in the classroom, students headed to the beach to put their newfound rock-knowledge to use! Students collected a few unique rocks and worked together to determine whether the rocks were sedimentary, igneous or metamorphic. They also discussed where the rocks might have originated from, and what minerals they are made of. Afterwards, students played a game to simulate the geological formation of Vancouver Island. For example, they emulated accreting igneous rocks by clustering together to understand the formation of mountainous terranes of the west coast! Cool!