A mobile environmental science lab created in partnership with Lethbridge College and Livingstone Range School Division (LRSD) was launched today. Representatives from both educational institutions attended the unveiling at PEAKS Campus, LRSD’s place-based learning centre in the Crowsnest Pass.
“This lab will be used by Grade 7 to 9 students all across our Division in a variety of ecological spaces perfect for environmental science programming,” says Chad Kuzyk, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Innovation for LRSD. “Students will be able to conduct industry-standard studies in their local areas, collecting valuable data while earning credits toward high school graduation and post-secondary.”
Made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Alberta Education Dual Credit Enhancement Fund and built over the past 10 months, the 27-foot-long lab will deliver a state-of-the-art experiential learning opportunity at the standards required for authentic research.
The field study lab will be an indispensable component of the PEAKS Collegiate Campus experience. This newly funded collegiate school — in partnership with Lethbridge College and industry collaborators, and based at the PEAKS Campus location — will provide students with a clear pathway into post-secondary education and careers in environmental science.
“This one-of-a-kind mobile classroom was designed by members of our School of Environmental Sciences to ensure its features and contents align with our course offerings and support delivery from the field,” says Dr. Terry Kowalchuk, Dean, Centre for Technology, Environment and Design. “Countless hours of planning and work went into this custom project so it could be comfortable and self-sufficient for students year-round, and we are excited to see the learning experiences that will take place within it.”
Outfitted with microscopes, nets, chest waders, binoculars, spotting scopes, sensors, storage tanks, safety kits, weather gear, water flow measuring software, a generator, and a canopy, the four-season lab will allow student learning to be truly experiential and increase the relevancy of the environmental science program of study.
“The partnership between Lethbridge College and LRSD will create unlimited potential for students interested in studying and pursuing careers in environmental science,” says Kuzyk. “The benefits will be felt in education and industry across southern Alberta and beyond.”