Students decide how to learn

Timberline’s Outdoor Adventure class of 2015 gets outside the classroom on the Ripple Rock Trail.

For many local students, traditional education systems are growing bleak. Fortunately for the students who crave education through more hands-on activities, the education system is their oyster.

With programs available to students in grades 10 to 12 enrolled in SD72, such as Carihi’s Nautical Science Program with Sylvain Chabot and Timberline’s Outdoor Adventure Program with Steve Joyce, there is no shortage of excitement around learning.

Although both programs contrast in many ways, they both bring their students out of the classroom and give them an educational experience whilst fuelling students’ passion.

Chabot got inspiration for the Nautical Sciences Program from his daughter’s experience at UBC. In a regular based system, she wasn’t as proactive with her learning but when she began her studies of marine biology with a more hands-on approach, it ignited her desire to apply herself in her studies.

Chabot thought, “If they can do that with my daughter, what can I do for students in public high school?” Thus began the creation of Nautical Sciences.

Chabot has a passion for sailing and when he began discussing the idea with his wife Martine Chabot, together they formulated the outline of the program.

Joyce’s inspiration for the Outdoor Adventures Program was slow coming but almost inevitable.

It all began with his adoration for the outdoors, which eventually led him to guiding recreational, private and corporate adventures for the Trek Outdoor Program. Joyce loved showing youth the outdoors and knew he loved to teach. So he went to school to become a teacher and started Timberline’s Adventure Club, which led to the Outdoor Adventures Program.

In both courses, the group of students enrolled stay together all day every day for the entire semester.

The classroom for Nautical Sciences is based at Robron, where students can take any course they’d like online or choose from what’s offered through Chabot’s Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLO) system. The morning is for academics and in the afternoons, students work together to repair boats and learn the science of sailing, and whenever possible, go sailing on dinghies around Quadra, with one year-end multi-day sail trip.

The course has the opportunity for students to get first aid level one, a ham radio course, as well as a dive ticket.

The classroom for the Outdoor Adventures Program is inside Timberline. The students partake in seven various outdoor trips that include a summit attempt for Albert Edward, a canoe trip on Quadra and a winter camp, as well as three necessary courses for graduation and one sustainable resources class.

Both courses accomplish all this in just five short months.

Both Chabot and Joyce agree the impact these programs have upon the students is phenomenal.

Chabot noted one of the students in Nautical Sciences in 2015 who used to get bullied in regular school was expressing himself to his peers and even went to a party with his newfound friends.

“The class breaks down social barriers,” said Joyce.