Imagine, Explore, Create

Imagine, Explore, Create

Friday, 10 April 2015

A Day of Learning From Experts in the Field

Thursday was a day of field trips for our grade three, four and CSSI students. The students were exhausted but excited when they got back to the school and had a lot to say about their trips, so this week's blog is written by them!

Calgary Stampede Aggie Days

The grade four and CSSI classes went to the BMO Center for Aggie Days and learned all kinds of interesting facts about agriculture in Alberta. 

Here are some of their quotes:

  • Did you know you can make one complete suit for a man out of the wool from one sheep!? We saw them sheer a sheep!
  • At lunchtime some of us watched a rodeo and that was probably the best lunch ever! One of my questions about the rodeo is, how do they not get really badly hurt? They just get up two seconds after they fall!
  • The man on the bucking horse would grab the waist of the man on the other horse and swing himself over. Nobody wants to get bucked off so maybe if they have had enough they do that...
  • We watched a mini chuck wagon race. It was pretty funny to see grown men on tiny wagons, pulled by tiny horses.
  • Now that I know more about the rodeo I would like to go to the Stampede this year because I have never been. 
  • I learned that there are more than just black and white cows. There are beige, brown and rusty red cows and they are all different kinds.
  • Bees cover their honey in a wax so that they don't stick to it. I knew that if a bee stung you, it would die but I didn't know that the stinger is connected to all of its organs so it will die if it stings you because some of its organs pull out with the stinger!
  • We went to a station that was about milk and I learned that there is actually a process for making milk. It doesn't just come out of the cow and then you drink it. First they separate the cream and the milk and they heat it to a high temperature (72 degrees celsius) and then they cool it off (4 degrees celsius). 
  • We got to see them milk a cow with a milking machine. Before and after they milk the cow, they dip their utter in something to disinfect it. We learned that there are beef cows and dairy cows. We also learned the cows don't just make meat. They make crayons and shoes and even candy from the gelatin that is made from their hoofs!

Skyping from Aggie Days with Pen Pals in New Jersey

The grade 4 students from Mrs. Kesler's class have been writing, since before Christmas, to pen pals in New Jersey using a cool online program called EdModo. While they were at Aggie Days they set up a special Skype session with their pen pals to show them some of the things that they learned on their trip. Here are a couple of short video clips of their Skype session.

Here are some quotes about their project:

  • The kids in New Jersey wrote to us to ask us questions about Calgary and Alberta and what it is like to live here. We wrote back to them about our Alberta Mavericks and about Alberta's agriculture. It is important for city kids to learn about agriculture because we live in the city and we don't get close to stuff like that often. Agriculture happens out in the country on farms and we don't get to see things like horses, cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and goats that often. 
  • At Aggie Days we did a Skype session with our pen pals and the first thing we showed them was a goat milking demonstration and then some goat kids came out on the stage and played around the stage and did some funny gymnastics. Baby goats are hilarious. The coolest part about Skyping with our pen pals in New Jersey was getting to see them live on such a big screen. They loved seeing all the animals that we showed them. 
  • We showed them two Quarter Horses. One was 28 and the other was 24. Quarter horses are the most common breed here. They can be used for roping. They brought two horses out instead of one because they are kind of like us. You feel more comfortable when you have a friend with you. We learned that horses get spooked when people clap so instead of clapping you are supposed to rub your hands together.
  • Horses can crow hop. Crow hopping is like bucking but not as high and not as aggressive. They crow hop when they are excited or spooked. I learned that when the wool falls off a sheep it is called a fleece. 
  • We studied a specific animal before we went to Aggie Days. Then we did DDS newscasts about the animals that we studied. It was kind of embarrassing because a bunch of kids from other schools were looking at me and it wasn't that comfortable. We recorded our newscasts using iPads. 

Fish Creek Park

The grade 3 classes went to Fish Creek Park to learn about bats and nature. 

Here are some quotes from their day:

  • The hike was really good and I learned that not all animals are that coyotes, I used to be afraid of them but I learned that they aren't that bad. 
  • Some bats only weigh as much as three pennies. Little brown bats are the smallest bats in Alberta. They are so small that their pelvis breaks when they give birth but then it repairs itself in just 24 hours. 
  • We looked for animal evidence in the forest. We found red ants and an ant hill. One crawled up my pants which was horrifying. It didn't bite me luckily! Mrs. Hanson stuck her pencil in the ant hill and then took it out and shook the ants off and then the pencil smelled like vinegar. The ants sprayed something on the pencil because they were scared.
  • We were shown a bionic ear. Some kids put on headphones and could hear the sounds really loud.  
  • We saw a woodpecker house but no woodpeckers. We saw chickadees going in and out of a tree and we also saw a tree that a beaver chewed down! We saw squirrels eating nuts. We even saw a garter snake's hibernaculum. It is a place where snakes go together to hibernate.....but we didn't see any snakes. 
  • It is not ok to feed the ground squirrels but some other people were feeding them. When you feed them they learn to rely on humans to feed them but really they need to be able to find their own food. 
  • The best part of the field trip was being out in nature with our friends and our teacher. It is important for kids to spend time out in nature because you learn and enjoy the views and fresh air. 

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