This spring, Bella Bella Community School students enrolled in the Physics 11 and Industrial Design 11 classes had the opportunity to visit Hakai Beach Institute for a four-day trip focused on hands-on science education. The Bella Bella SEAS Community Initiative coordinator worked with the teachers from both classes to ensure that the experience had links to the high school science curriculum, as well as plenty of opportunities to learn about the local ecology and natural history. Physical activity was also a big part of the trip, with numerous hikes, ecology games, archery, and some intense beach volleyball!
The Industrial Design 11 class spent the weeks leading up to the trip building an Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV), which both classes field tested and refined down at HBI. Students also worked in pairs to create a Digital Species Collection; for this project, they photographed animal and plant species on the beaches, rocks, tidepools and trails, and later identified them using field guides in our “classroom-away-from-home”, creating Powerpoint presentations to share their knowledge. We were fortunate to listen to a lecture by Dr. Duncan McLaren, who is leading a team of archaeologists in a research project in this area, and he generously shared his time to take us into the field to see an excavation site. HBI staff member Keith Jordan gave us a detailed tour of the off-grid infrastructure. All of the lodge staff were friendly and engaging with the students, sharing their experience and enthusiasm. Walas giaxsixa to all of the Hakai Beach Institute staff and the Tula Foundation for making this experience possible, and to the students for being respectful, open-minded, curious, engaged, adventurous and well-mannered!
“That my ancestors have been on this land for thousands of years.”
“…about the village sites that were all around, and how many years they were there.”
“…about archaeology evidence in the territory, plant and animal life, underwater exploration.”
“A lot about science, archaeology, the change of the tides, and the different kind of species in Hakai.”
Some other notable quotes from the Grade 10/11/12s:
“Learning a lot about science was awesome.”
“I enjoyed actually doing the research in the environment.”
“5 star food and beaches!”
“A wolf stole my raincoat, radio, and my hat. That’s my story.”
“My experience on this SEAS field trip was learning my Heiltsuk territory, how to do archery, found out how many beaches there are on Hakai, the plant and animal powerpoint, got to drive the Ramming Rover, the kind happy staff there, the amazing food, seeing how Hakai runs off the solar panels and generators, and lots of sleeping and hiking.”
Photos courtesy of Gerald Mulligan, senior science and math teacher