As students returned to remote learning with the pandemic’s third wave, Hamilton Conservation Authority’s Environmental Education team were ready for anything. Having launched the Exceptional Youth Explore (E.Y.E. Wonder) virtual learning program in December, Education staff found the key to making lessons come alive, was to give everyone their chance to ask a question, no matter how silly it may seem. Through the E.Y.E. Wonder program, staff have answered questions ranging from “How does climate impact local habitats?” to “Where do deer go in the winter?” These questions quickly become the jumping-off point for an animated discussion.
While we can’t wait to welcome students back to the Dundas Valley CA for in-person learning, these programs have been a huge success in their own right. One teacher thanked staff for adding “a bit of spice to the online learning experience!” With hundreds of questions asked, every lesson seems to bring up something that hasn’t been asked before.
What else do students want to know?
- ‘Why are butterfly wings so delicate?’
- ‘Why do owls hunt at night?’
- ‘What is that red bird that comes into my backyard … the one with the pointy head?’
The program has reached dozens of classes at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, mostly in the Kindergarten to Grade 8 range. It was successfully adapted for classroom learning while schools were re-opened from January to March and resumed its previous format as students returned to remote learning. Despite the ongoing state of flux, students remain as eager and curious as ever.
HCA’s Environmental Education programming is made possible by wonderful people like you who support the Foundation’s Step Into Nature Fund. For making this work possible, we cannot thank you enough!