Turning a sour situation into sweet online learning

A barrel of lemons landed on our education team’s heads when coronavirus kicked traditional education to the curb. How to deliver education programming when schools were closed and social distancing was in place? We rolled up our sleeves and started squeezing those lemons into something as wonderful as a tall, cool glass of lemonade on a hot summers’ day.

With dozens of lesson plans, activities, videos and more, we created incredible content that was applicable while students were stuck at home. Now that classrooms are back open and some kids trickled back in, the content has proved useful in both at-home and in-class settings. 

From identifying bugs by their body types to trees by their leaves, learning about lichen, and the basics of backyard tracking, online lessons simplified complex ideas and turned them into fun educational experiences. Students found out how their arms’ span compares to birds’ wingspans, or how to let nature inspire artistic endeavours.

Little learners studied some topics even you might not have heard about! Do you know what the Fibonacci Sequence is? This fascinating mathematical sequence can be found throughout nature, like in flower petals, leaves, and the spirals in pinecones. Our education director Monica Nissen gave a good primer on the subject and on the various ways scientists categorize patterns found in nature through an engaging video.

Overall, we created 10 newsletters, viewed by hundreds of parents, teachers, mentors, and learners every week for the last three months around our region, across and beyond our province. Our newsletters even reached international inboxes! But our Education in the Wild program series (for students from Kindergarten to grade 7) was not the only education programming we transformed into an online experience. Visit our website for an in-depth, nine-lesson series from our Know Your Watershed educators, which transformed the overflowing well of knowledge about watersheds into compact lesson plans. 

Beyond Recycling educators also created online resources for home learning. Lessons, videos and eco-challenges were offered through the website, focusing on supporting teachers and students who were already participating in the year-long program. Student resource pages on the website were also added to, with supplemental information for self-directed learning /kids who want to learn more.

Check out our online offerings today. If you discover something new, why not let us know what you learned via the Wildsight Education Facebook page, and we’ll raise a glass (of lemonade) in honour of the age-old adage; when life hands you lemons, you truly can make something sweet out of it.

Wildsight thanks Columbia Basin TrustColumbia Power CorporationConsecon FoundationCrowsnest Conservation SocietyFortis BC, Osprey Community FoundationTeck Coal, Teck Trail, the Province of British Columbia, Kootenay Savings Community Foundation, Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies;and all of our individual donors for making this program possible.