By Carlie Connolly
Rather than simply going on field trips or learning different hands on things in the classroom, students have been given the opportunity to attend Ralston and see firsthand how professionals conduct their various crafts.
Trent Rayner, vice principal at Ralston school came into the Prairie Rose School Division meeting on Nov. 4 with the school council chair from the school along with two students to discuss the new BATUS project. He says it’s all about inspiring education through the base in Suffield.
He and a few others went on a tour of CFB Suffield and was amazed as he said its like a self-sufficient town inside. They have everything a small town would have as far as amenities go. A police station, medical centre, post office, bank and many other amenities were present there along with a mechanics section, construction site, and bridge building area. Rayner also went around to many of the professionals in the different areas to talk about the project.
“They were so enthusiastic to be able to teach our students about their different professions,” said Rayner.
The whole idea for the project is for students to go out to the base and learn about some of the concepts they have learned in their regular curriculum through hands on learning and professionals in the base. The benefits for them are huge.
“Instead of sitting within the classroom, they get to go out and learn hands on and see first hand how some of the concepts they’ve been learning about actually happen,” Rayner said.
When it comes to a bridge for example, instead of building it out of straws in class, the students can go out with bridge professionals. They can talk about the different concepts that are involved in the building of the bridge and see how they are built in a real life setting.
This project goes hand in hand with an Alberta Education initiative called Inspiring Education, which is a move to do curriculum that is more hands on for the students. The project ties into the students as it’s working to get them inspired to learn and to be engaged.
Schools are trying to hit the three E’s for students to one, become engaged thinkers, two, ethical citizens and three, develop and entrepreneurial spirit.
The BATUS project will be starting small, getting every class out to the base once or twice this year and from there, they will see how it goes.