A group of Carihi students went to Vargas Island for an education opportunity in the field.

Carihi students given a hands-on learning opportunity at Vargas Island

  • Jun. 22, 2018 8:30 a.m.

By Anna Buck

Carihi Mirror

Nine Grade 12 students from Carihi secondary school were recently given an experiential educational opportunity: a trip to the Cedar Coast Field Station on Vargas Island, B.C.

The field trip was a first for Carihi science teacher Thomas Diesch, coordinator of this and other learning experiences, including a trip to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre earlier this school year.

“When we went to Bamfield in the fall, there was such positive feedback… for these types of learning experiences, so I [decided] to plan another for the spring. There’s so much value in being able to offer this kind of trip,” says Diesch.

The trip ran from May 31 to June 4, and the weekend was a busy one for students. Some of the activities included were a microplastics survey with staff from the Ucluelet Aquarium, a salmon seine and plankton tow, and reconciliation work on the Keltsmaht reserve.

Although many of the activities were focused on science, the trip was not strictly for students who plan on pursuing a career in the field.

“It does have a bit of a science feel to it. [But] I really tried to open it up to more than that, and the experiences are much more than just science-based,” says Diesch.

“Every type of learning can be enriched by being in a different space. If you’re really into poetry or something, sitting on the beach or in the forest and writing poetry is very different from sitting in a classroom and writing poetry, right? So I wanted to support that kind of learning as well.”

Students felt that their experiences working at the CCFS gave them the chance not only to learn from, but to make a contribution to the program. They also found it a relaxing experience, and a welcome break from working in the classroom. For Diesch, watching Carihi’s students be a part of a research environment doing hands-on work with staff was a rewarding experience.

“For the first time, maybe, for many of our students they felt more like peers with these adults in a research setting… instead of [a] teacher-student situation,” says Diesch.

“That’s really rewarding for the students to be able to feel that way, and also for the staff to feel like the students are really contributing.” Diesch also praised students for their positivity during the trip.

“Their days were packed, they were very busy, yet they all had smiles on their faces, they were all engaged, nobody complained about the weather when it was pouring… I think that’s pretty powerful.”

Grants from the Pacific Salmon Foundation and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation made this trip possible.

Diesch hopes to make the Vargas Island trip a yearly one for Carihi, and will continue to look for similar opportunities to offer students.

“There’s only so much we can do in a classroom,” says Diesch. “It’s really cool that people are supportive of stuff like this… [because] this is really what learning can look like.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local liquor store raising funds for food bank

On May 30, a portion of sales at JAK’s Beer Wine & Spirits will be donated to the food bank

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

City of Campbell River re-opening most park amenities and outdoor washrooms

Splash park, playgrounds, sports fields, outdoor volleyball courts, indoor facilities not yet

First Nation’s guardians ‘take matters into their own hands’ and organize environmental clean-up

Mamalilikulla guardians step up to clear abandoned boats after no response from natural resource officers

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read