Gr. 1s Engineer New Solutions to Our Favorite Fairytales

This winter, Grade 1 students were engaged in an integrated Literacy and STEAM unit on fairytales. Students were challenged to use their design and engineering skills to solve problems for characters in their favourite fairytales such as the Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Goldilocks.

We watched a clip from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and asked the students why in traditional fairytales, princesses are always saved by a prince. Then we had a discussion about what makes a princess today and the girls came up with their own criteria including strong, smart, creative, and kind. Then we asked: What would a princess do today if she were locked in a tower? Wait around for a prince to save her or use her engineering and design skills to save herself?

As our final challenge, students were asked to find another way for Rapunzel to get out of the tower without waiting around for a prince to rescue her!   

Students brainstormed different ways that Rapunzel could get out of the tower and came up with a long list, including parachutes, airplanes, chairlifts, elevators, water slides, and more! Then students worked with their group to determine one design to create together! Using their new iterative design skills, students tested and modified their designs as they went. They thought about how to keep Rapunzel safe and how to incorporate some of the engineering knowledge we had learned from the previous challenges including simple machines and cardboard engineering!

Jennifer Sharpe
STEAM Coordinator, Junior School

Fall Outdoor Ed Trips

Grade 10s at Garibaldi:
Grade 10s accomplished a 4-day journey to Garibaldi Park. Some girls went to Elfin Lakes, and others went to Garibaldi Lake. They each climbed at least 600m in elevation on the first day with full backpacks. This is quite an accomplishment! There were stunning views, moments of challenge/growth, and moments of joy for everyone.

Gr. 8s at Manning Park:
Grade 8s went to Manning Park for four days to launch their Senior School journey together as a team outside. They explored the lake by canoe, and pine forests and alpine environments on bike and on foot. They got to know one another and their teachers through team-building activities, skits, and fun.

Gr. 6s at Camp Summit:
Grade 6s went to Camp Summit, in the Squamish Valley. They participated in all sorts of camp activities such as high ropes, low ropes, fire building, mountain biking, big field games, and countless other adventures. The students slept in cabins and had a huge amount of fun!

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Gr. 5s at Camp Elphinstone
Grade 5s, accompanied by seven wonderful Grade 9 mentors, went to the Sunshine Coast, to the Sea to Sky Outdoor School held at Camp Elphinstone. They canoed in big traditional canoes, slept in cabins with their Grade 9 buddies, jumped in the freezing cold ocean, played games, sang songs, explored the gorgeous forest, and learned a little bit about the word “sustainability” and our role in making positive change. They canoed to Gambier Island to explore the wild forest there, experienced rain and sun, challenge and joy, and so much more!

Grades 1-3 in the Forest
Grades 1-3 each embarked on a full day adventure to Pacific Spirit Park. Students explored, played games designed to bring them closer to our natural environment, heard stories from local culture, had time to play using natural materials and their incredible imaginations, had some quiet reflection time, and practised using all five senses to discover the world around them. A few highlights were learning about and finding slugs, using the salmonberry plant, playing ‘Eagle Eye’, making forest tea, discovering the dozens of types of mushrooms out this fall, nature’s face paint (charcoal), and free imaginative play.

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