Raincoast Field School - Spring 2018 (Tofino)

Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (June 22)

 

Ms. Baas’s grade 2 class

Students headed out to Schooner Cove for a rainforest scavenger hunt and hiking day! Students found several unique plants along the way, learned a few key plant species and spent time exploring in the intertidal zone. What a great end to the year!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (June 20)
Ms. Aujla’s grade 4/5 class

After learning about hiking safety, trip plans and Search and Rescue efforts on the coast, students headed out to Vargas Island for an epic day hike! Students hiked across the island and back, supporting each other throughout the challenging sections of the trail. Students came back to town pretty tired, but definitely stoked about the class hiking day!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (June 12 - 14)
Ms. Hovi’s grade 5/6 class

As per tradition, students headed out on their annual end-of-year camping trip to Kakawis, on Meares Island! Students worked together to set up tents, learned about traditional berry harvest and care from Gisele Martin, went on several exploration hikes, and worked as a team to take care of camp duties like keeping our campfire going and keeping our home-away-from-home clean and comfortable!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (June 7)
Ms. Aujla’s grade 4/5 class

Students are getting ready to do a big hike across Vargas Island, and today they worked as a team to get themselves prepared for their upcoming trip. Students learned about hiking preparedness and about the role of Search and Rescue in our community. Afterward, students discussed the importance of making a trip plan, and the information that needs to be included in a trip plan. Next up, students will be headed over to Vargas for a full-day adventure!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (June 6)
Ms. Avila’s kindergarten/grade 1 class

Students spent the day at Meares Island Big Tree Trail with our cultural educator, Gisele Martin! Students learned about the importance of protecting the plants in our area, about how cedar boardwalks are made and they even got to see salamander eggs in a stream!


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

Students are learning about natural resource management in class and they got to spend a day out at a sea site in Bedwell Sound to learn about salmon aquaculture. Students learned about the site’s operations; how salmon are fed and harvested, how many salmon are harvested at this particular site, and about life out on a fish farm. Big thank you to our boat driver and to Cermaq staff for taking the time to educate local students about this industry.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (June 1)
Mr. Reynolds' grade 3/4 class

After learning about the importance of trip planning, hiking safety and first aid preparedness, students made their own trip plan and headed out on a hiking adventure to Radar Beach! Students developed their leadership skills by helping each other out during the tricky sections of the trail and then set up teambuilding activities on the beach. Students walked out happy, tired and covered in mud!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 28)
Tofino Heartwood Learning Community

Students headed to the mudflats to spend the morning tracking and learning about animals that use this unique habitat! Then, after watching the tide come up all morning, students suited up for a paddleboarding extravaganza over the afternoon high tide!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 25)
Ms. Payne’s grade 1/2 class

Students have been learning all about animal lifecycles in class and today they got to learn about marine invertebrate lifecycles… starting with plankton! Students did a plankton tow at the docks, played a plankton game to learn about their interactions with other creatures and then got to observe plankton under a microscope. Students learned about the barnacle lifecycle and discovered crab larvae too!


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

After learning about resource management in class, students got to go on a pretty unique Field School outing: Ucluelet Harbour Seafoods – Ukee’s fish processing plant! After dressing up in smocks and hairnets, students made their way through the processing plant, learned about what a typical day looks like for UHS employees. They also learned about the hake fishing industry and where in the world all these fish end up being shipped. Afterward students had a discussion about fisheries on our coast, and about the impacts of this fishery on our community.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 22)
Ms. Michaud’s grade 2/3 class

Students have been learning all about the water cycle and water sources in Tofino, and today they headed to Meares Landing to learn more about the island from which we get our water, and then made their own map about water movement in our town.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 22)
Ms. Baas’s grade 2 class

Students have been learning all about the moon, tides and gravity in class, and today students headed to Tonquin Beach to learn more about gravitational forces, centrifugal force and the celestial forces that create tides on Earth! Students demonstrated their knowledge using rocks to represent the Moon, Earth and the Sun, and then learned about how tides affect sea creatures that live in the intertidal zone!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 18)
Ms. Seibel’s grade 1 class

After learning about animals and lifecycles in class, students headed to Big Beach to learn about intertidal creatures, and then discovered subtidal invertebrates at the Ucluelet Aquarium!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 17)
Mr. Clarke’s kindergarten class

Students have been learning all about qʷayac̓iik (wolf) in class and today students headed to the mudflats in packs to go wolf tracking! Students learned some differences between dog and wolf tracks, and found other signs of animals like bird prints, squirrel middens and even cougar sign!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 16)
Ms. Michaud’s grade 2/3 class

Students have been learning all about the water cycle, specifically as it relates to water sources in Tofino. Today, students visited one key part of Tofino’s water cycle; the water tower! Students placed the water tower on a map of Tofino and learned about where our water comes from (Meares Island) and how it gets here (submarine pipeline). Next students will learn all the other parts of Tofino’s water supply system and make their own map to share!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 11)
Ms. Avila’s kindergarten/grade 1 class

Students have been learning all about community jobs and today they headed to the Tofino Coast Guard Station to meet Coast Guard staff, learn about CG safety equipment, and get a tour of the boats and the station! Neat!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 8)
Ms. Aujla’s grade 4/5 class

Students have spent the school year learning about shipwrecks along our coast, and today they got to head to Amphitrite Lighthouse to learn more about the history of Coast Guard and Search and Rescue along the coast! While there they learned some of the details of the shipwrecks of the SS Valencia and the Pass of Melfort, as well as the history of the lighthouse. Then students got to go on a teambuilding hike on the Wild Pacific Trail!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 2)
Ms. Hovi’s grade 5/6 class

After learning about algae – including phytoplankton and seaweed – students headed to North Chesterman to learn more about seaweed diversity on our coast.  Students drew and described some common species such as bleach weed, sugar kelp and sea lettuce, and then learned about some of the predator defense mechanisms that seaweeds have! Finally students learned about ethical seaweed harvesting and collected a few small samples to use for an art project!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 1)
Mr. Reynolds' grade 3/4 class

Students have learned all about how to make good field observations throughout this school year, and today they put their skills to good use! Students made observations on unknown bog plants to then share with classmates, and then learned a few important species in the bog.  Afterward students explored the sand dunes, played team building games and wrapped up the day with 15 minutes of quiet alone time on the beach. What a fun and educational sunshine-filled day!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (April 25)
Ms. Payne’s grade 1/2 class

Students are learning all about pollution and the importance of clean water in class, and today they headed to the Tofino Harbour Authority to learn all about oil spill response! Students practiced the steps to respond to oil spills and then got an amazing show from local residents… including a big California sea lion and a river otter!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (April 24)
Ms. Avila’s kindergarten/grade 1 class

Students are learning all about jobs in the community and today they got to meet a local kayak guide, Ava Hansen! Students spent the morning at Tofino Sea Kayaking where they got to learn about chart navigation, and then learn about kayak gear, including safety gear like throw ropes and water pumps. Thanks Ava and Tofino Sea Kayaking!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (April 20)
Ms. Morris’s grade 6/7 class

As a celebration of Earth Day, students headed to Long Beach to do a microplastics beach cleanup! Students worked in teams to find tiny bits of plastic in the high tide line, which they will use to make a mini mural of their favorite natural area.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (April 11)
Ms. Baas’s grade 2 class

As an introduction to studying lifecycles, students headed out to learn about the lifecycle of a salmonberry. Students found flower buds and flowers, learned how to identify salmonberry bushes and learned why berries and other fruit are important in plant lifecycles!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (March 13)
Mr. Reynolds' grade 3/4 class

Nature journal update: Students learned how to identify Western Red Cedar, and then reviewed its relationship with fungi, other plants and people!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (March 12)
Ms. Avila’s kindergarten/grade 1 class

Students are learning about different types of jobs in Tofino, and today they went on an adventure to find all sorts of workers in town, from construction workers to kayak guides to coast guard crew to helicopter pilots! Next, students will have the chance to meet some of these people and get a glimpse into their working world!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (March 9)
Ms. Hovis’ grade 5/6 class

Students are wrapping up their experiment to test the relationship between the lunar cycle and the tides. After making a series of tidal observations over the course of the month of February, students worked in teams to learn about the intensity of gravity when all 3 celestial bodies are aligned (Sun, Moon and Earth), and learned about centrifugal force and its effects on tidal activity. Afterward students worked together to interpret a graph and extrapolate information to correlate the tidal variation to the lunar cycle - and they concluded that during full moon and new moon, the variation between high tide and low tide is the most intense! Nice work Ms. Hovi’s class!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (March 7)
Ms. Michaud’s grade 2/3 class

Students hit the trails to learn about our coast’s most famous tree – the Western Red Cedar! After learning some key identification features, students each made a detailed drawing and took note of observations by using a cedar bough they found on the ground.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (March 7)
Ms. Seibel’s grade 1 class
In partnership with Connecting Students with Wildlife Project

Students learned about forest animals like bears, cougars, wolves and birds already, and this outing they went animal tracking to put all their newfound skills to the test! Students headed out to the mudflats where they found scat, feathers and prints in the mud. Students also did some tracking in the forest and found some squirrel middens, among many other cool finds!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (March 6)
Ms. Morris’s grade 6/7 class

After learning about emergency preparedness in class, students headed to Cox Bay to discuss their plan of action in the event that a tsunami warning call occurs while they are on the beach.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (March 1)
Ms. Michaud’s grade 2/3 class

Students are learning all about forest ecosystems, and this time they focused on learning the key features of our most common tree; the Western Hemlock! After sitting with a Hemlock tree, students described the bark and needles to help them identify it later.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Feb 28)
Ms. Seibel’s grade 1 class
In partnership with Connecting Students with Wildlife Project

Students are learning all about animals on our coast, and today was all about birds! After learning about some of the key features that make a bird a bird, students headed into the forest to sit and bird watch, and to test their bird species predictions.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Feb 22)
Ms. Baas’s grade 2 class

After learning about the water cycle in class and visiting the water tower in town, students headed on an adventure to Meares Island to go visit our town’s water reservoir! Students hiked out and learned from District of Tofino staff about how Tofino gets its water, where it comes from, where it goes, and some of the key steps to getting hydrated on the peninsula!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Feb 20)
Mr. Grigg’s grade 4/5 class, Ms. Aujla’s grade 4/5
In partnership with UVic Clayoquot Sound Field Semester

Students from Uvic and grade 4/5 students reconnected after meeting a few weeks back. Students used a map to find some of the key locations at which they spend time and then discussed emergency evacuation routes and plans in Tofino.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Feb 16)
Ms. Hovi’s grade 5/6 class

After observing the high tide during the full moon a few weeks ago, students investigated and compared the high tide during the new moon. This time students made observations by sitting quietly by the sea. Not only did students make some key observations about the tide and the sea conditions, they also expressed a feeling of peace and tranquility during their solo time on the beach.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Feb 16)
Ms. Payne’s grade 1/2 class

Students headed out on a hiking adventure to a new beach, where they got to explore the intertidal zone and learn about water currents and other forces!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Feb 15)
Mr. Grigg’s grade 4/5 class

To begin their inquiry-based class project, students headed into the forest to learn some of the key elements that make up a coastal temperate rainforest. Afterward students sat with an unknown plant to make observations and ask questions about its lifestyle – many of these questions will make the foundations of their upcoming inquiry project!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Feb 9)
Ms. Morris’s grade 6/7 class
With nature photographers Marcus Paladino and Nora Morrison

Students learned all about what to search for when taking a good quality photo with a presentation from professional photographer, Marcus Paladino. Students practiced their photography skills with a trip to Tonquin Beach, where they got creative with new perspectives. Many expressed having gained a fresh outlook on the world after exploring it through a camera lens! Some of these student photos will be featured at our annual Capturing the Coast photo contest!


 


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Feb 9)
Ms. Seibel’s grade 1 class

In partnership with Connecting Students with Wildlife Project

Students played some bear and cougar games to learn about animal behavior and traits, and then headed into the forest to set up a wildlife camera! Students put their scientist hats on to make predictions of what animals they will see on the wildlife camera… next, we will investigate and test student predictions!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Feb 8)
Mr. Clarke’s kindergarten class

Students have been learning all about grey whales in class and today they headed out on a whale adventure! Students played whale migration games at Cox Bay, learned about whale food (like the tube worms pictured!) and then went out to Sunset point to search for migrating grey whales through binoculars.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Feb 6)
Mr. Reynolds’ grade 3/4 class

Nature journal update: Students headed into the forest to learn all about hemlock trees! Students noted observations about the trees and then made a scientific drawing about a small sample.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Feb 2)
Ms. Avila’s kindergarten/grade 1 class

In partnership with UVic Clayoquot Sound Field Semester

Students in Ms. Avila’s class are learning about weather, and UVic Geography students are in the midst of their Coastal Meteorology course – so today they worked together to investigate the weather in Tofino! Students discussed different types of weather and then Dr. Shannon Fargey, the UVic course instructor, taught K/1 students how to use a rain gauge, and university students taught them how to check temperature and wind speed.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Feb 1)
Ms. Hovi’s grade 5/6 class

Students are getting ready to learn about the moon cycle, and they’ve begun an experiment to test the correlation between the intensity of the tides and the lunar phase. Students wrote a hypothesis to test the following question: ‘Is the degree of variation between high and low tides correlated to the lunar cycle?’ Afterwards, studentsvisited Tonquin Beach at high tide on the day following the super blue moon. Students were surprised and expressed that was the highest they’d ever seen the tide! Next up students will compare photos of high tide on the full moon, quarter moons and new moon and compare their data to answer their question.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Jan 24)
Ms. Payne’s grade 1/2 class

After learning about the water cycle in class, students headed to the water tower to learn about where Tofino’s water comes from, and to review their knowledge of gravity and water flow! Students also ran to the water tower and back... and some of them were in need of a brief forest rest on our way back to school.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Jan 23)
Mr. Reynolds’ grade 3/4 class

Students wrapped up their ocean acidification experiment by observing the shells that had been soaking in vinegar over the holidays. Although some shells had likely dissolved in the vinegar, the experiment had encountered a slight problem - the surface of the water in our control had gotten moldy! This led to some interesting discussions on reviewing and reassessing scientific methods, on classifying organisms in different kingdoms (plants, fungi and animals), and on fungi reproduction… neat! Afterwards, students released the shells we’d borrowed back to their rightful home, the ocean.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Jan 22)
Ms. Baas’s grade 2 class

Students have learned all about evaporation, condensation and precipitation in class, and as part of their lessons on the water cycle they got to go see the water tower. Students discussed volume and circumference and then learned about where our water comes from – Meares Island!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (Jan 12)
Mr. Grigg’s grade 4/5 class, Ms. Aujla’s grade 4/5
In partnership with UVic Clayoquot Sound Field Semester

Students in Mr. Grigg and Ms. Aujla’s class have been learning all about mapping, explorers and navigation. During a collaborative exercise, students worked with visiting university students (taking a Coastal Planning course in Tofino) to create a map of downtown Tofino, featuring places that are important to them and their families. University of Victoria students and grade 4/5 students also got to exchange their thoughts on sense of place… and play a giant game of everybody’s-it-tag!