Teachers’ Workshop was a Resounding Success!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Outreach Teacher Workshop Activities

Earlier this month, on June 6, 7 and 8, the Department of Earth Sciences welcomed 10 teachers from near and far to our 8th annual Discovering Earth Sciences Teachers’ Workshop! Each year we invite educators of all grades and subjects to join us for ideas and inspiration for teaching earth science concepts. The workshop provides educators with instruction about earth processes and materials, discussions of current earth issues and provides hands-on methods and ideas for using the outdoor environment in teaching.

This year we were joined by Lesley Hymers of the Ontario Mining Association, Stella Heenan, science educator and consultant, Blyth Robertson and Jan Aylsworth, both retired Geological Survey of Canada geoscientists, and Janice Williams of Mining Matters.  We focused on sedimentary rocks and processes, how sediments are created and what happens to them over time.  We learned about erosion and weathering, made landslides with wet sand and plastic pipes, we tried to prevent landslides with different engineered slopes, we played with earthquakes and learned about a project to understand how the different materials under the soils behave during shaking, and how that became a risk map and building code. 

Sunday’s field trip, planned with the assistance of the Ontario Sand, Stone and Gravel Association, visited Miller’s sand pit and Quarry near Braeside Ontario and the Karson Aggregates quarries and rehabilitated sand pits near Carp.  At these sites we learned about the sand, stone and gravel industry, how these materials are extracted and used and the life cycle of pits and quarries. They provided us with a great window into the geological history of the area. We very much appreciate the opportunity to visit these sites.

Participants were provided with an Earth Sciences Teaching Resources Kit, chock full of great resources to take away and use in their classrooms with their students.  Watch our website for information about next year’s workshop and for other educational opportunities and events from Earth Sciences Outreach!