Friday, March 27, 2015

Experiential learning week overview

Mechanics: ELW students with Mr. Epp
Toni Lucas

Students from Matthew Halton High School (MHHS) and Livingstone High School students took part in Experiential Learning Week (ELW) from Monday, March 23 - Friday, March 27. For 5 days, these students took a single immersive class in a option of their choice. The 18 courses that they could choose from included: Creative Writing, Drama, Fashion: Exploring Surface Embellishment Techniques, Print and Design through Paper Arts, Blackfoot Language and Culture, Multi-Sport Camp, Fishing, Hockey Camp, Archery, Animal Care and Welfare, Dinner Party Wars, Journalism, Construction, Mechanics, and Forestry. If travel was their interest there were two options: Senior High Trip to Europe, and a Gulf Islands Trip in British Columbia. The course Winter Sports Camp was adjusted due to weather conditions. There will be additional stories from a variety of these adventures. ELW was a pilot project started by MHHS in October 2013 and has been growing in scope and now includes two schools.

Robert Plante with hostess Erica Mackenzie at Dinner Party Wars
On Friday the 27, this semesters session of classes were winding down. Some students were finishing projects, some were looking at whether the class they were in was on a career path they wanted to pursue or cross of their list, but many expressed that it was a worthwhile venture for exploring one avenue of learning in depth.

Raegan Tregillus with her freshly fixed and painted gas can toolbox
How the curriculum is created is there is one week that is used per semester for ELW. The students are asked for input on what sort of things they have an interest in as part of the design of the ELW sessions. The school looks for people in the area that can teach those skills, or any class for the week that is scheduled.  One the have someone to teach a class, it gets added to the curriculum and then the students can sign up for the classes that are offered. The school works with the local teachers, businesses, and individuals to offer the courses. The students in any single class can range from grade 7 - 12 however they all have a common interest and are working together.  This is a growing, creative experience for those that are teaching the class, and those learning. Some of the classes that have been on the list can help the students by gaining them accreditation in a field. Examples of that happened in past ELW sessions including early childhood development, hunter training, and scuba diving.

Friday frisbee fun (Extreme Sports)
Many of the students expressed that they find the week an educational, fun and exciting way of approaching learning.

Chas and Tyson do the fascia on play-shed construction

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