fbpx
school groups, nature education, hands on learning, elementary school, magnifying glasses, kids, school, learning, sierra club bc

Mya Van Woudenberg

2020-21 School Workshops


Since 1998 we have offered a variety of free environmental education workshops directly in your community – in your classroom, school yard, homeschool neighbourhood, or a local outdoor space. We continue to follow public health COVID-19 guidelines, prioritizing the health and wellbeing of our staff and the learning communities with whom we work.

Our in-person programs now take place 100% outdoors. As of January 11 2021, we are only delivering in-person workshops for K-5 in the Greater Victoria Area (SD61, 62, 63); Grade 6-8 programs (Climate and Place) are available in the Lower Mainland (the Surrey School District is not accepting any external program in-person facilitators, but we are happy to offer fun online workshops!).

Online workshops via secure video call are available for any school or homeschool group in BC. They include both pre- and post-program learning materials and support. The length of online workshops will vary according to grade: two sessions of 30-60 minutes each, spaced about 3 weeks apart to allow for class learning in between. The earlier you request a workshop, the more likely we will be able to offer an in-person workshop as COVID restrictions improve. As always, we will note the classes we are unable to reach and give you priority next school year!

These are our workshop descriptions:

Nature and Play (Kindergarten): Offers young children the chance to explore local environments by engaging directly in outdoor, sensory-based play, nature discovery activities and storytelling about and in the natural world. (This workshop is no longer available in French.)

Nature and Play-Marine Ecosystem focus (Kindergarten): Offers young children the chance to explore local marine-based and beach environments by engaging directly in outdoor, sensory-based play, nature discovery activities and storytelling about and in the natural world. This workshop is only an option for schools within walking distance to a beach or inlet, or willing to meet us at one. (This workshop is only available in English.)

Lifecycles and Ecosystems (Grades 1-2): Children learn about British Columbia’s species and ecosystems, discover seasonal adaptations of local plants and animals, and learn how to best care for their local natural environment. (This workshop is no longer available in French.)

Lifecycles and Ecosystems-Marine Ecosystem focus (Grades 1-2): Children learn about British Columbia’s marine species and ecosystems, discover seasonal adaptations of local plants and animals, and learn how to best care for their local coastal environment. This workshop is only an option for schools within walking distance to a beach or inlet, or willing to meet us at one. (This workshop is only available in English.)

People and Plants (Grades 3-5): Inspired by our Going Wild! guidebook, this workshop was created in partnership with coastal First Nations and Royal Roads University for teachers and learners with the aim of (re)connecting children with their environment and local First Nations cultures. We use a place-based approach to teach about local wild plants and their traditional and modern uses. Students explore the concepts of sustainability, biodiversity, traditional ecological knowledge and sense of place. (This workshop is only available in English.)

People and Plants-Marine Ecosystem focus (Grades 3-5): Inspired by our Going Wild! guidebook, this workshop was created in partnership with coastal First Nations and Royal Roads University for teachers and learners with the aim of (re)connecting children with their environment and local First Nations cultures. We use a place-based approach to teach about local coastal plants and their traditional and modern uses. Students explore the concepts of sustainability, biodiversity, traditional ecological knowledge and sense of place. This workshop is only an option for schools within walking distance to a beach or inlet. (This workshop is only available in English.)

Climate and Place (Grades 6-8): Based on Sierra Club BC’s mission to support people stewarding abundant ecosystems and a stable climate, while building resilient, equitable communities this program gives students the opportunity to learn about an array of issues relating to the world outside their doorsteps. There are five versions of the program, each with a unique focus that will allow students to engage deeply with the subject. These programs are available in-person in the Lower Mainland and online province-wide.   

For students who are new to learning about climate change, we are offering a science of climate change focused programFor students interested in plants and animals, we are offering an ecosystem/ecology focused program. For students already engaged with climate change who want to broaden their activist toolkits, we are offering a climate justice/youth activism and empowerment focused program. For students interested in food systems we will be offering a sustainable food systems focused workshop. And finally, in order to encourage student’s creativity as well as aid in processing the weight of the climate crisis, we are offering a self-expression and art in the climate crisis focused workshop. Please note your preference in the workshop request form.

All programs weave in diverse Indigenous perspectives as well as emphasize our ability to change the systems we live in. These workshops are available online or in-person. Online workshops consist of 2, 1hour online sessions (separated by 1-3 weeks in coordinate with the teacher) as well as pre- and post-workshop materials. In-person workshops consist of a single 2-hour session which will take place 100% outside as well as pre- and post-workshop materials. (This workshop is only available in English.) 

Homeschooling Workshops: We provide all of the workshops listed above in adapted forms for groups of homeschooled children and their parents/caregivers throughout the school year.

We offer our programming free of charge. As a charity we do appreciate donations, especially if you have support from your school’s Parent Association Committee. If you have such support, our suggested range is $1.50 to $2 per student (workshop for a class of 20 students: $30-40 suggested donation). These donations help to ensure that we are able to continue prioritizing schools in marginalized areas and grow our library of free, open-access educational resources for all. If you have any questions, please contact Ciera DeSilva, our Education Program Manager, at ciera@sierraclub.bc.ca.

If you would like to request a workshop(s), please click the button below to fill out our online request form. While we do our best to the hundreds of requests that we receive each school year, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to reach your school or group.


Recent Updates

Taking a Stand

Read inspired writing by Charlotte Malcolmson, age 12, a student in Ktunaxa Territory (Nelson, BC).