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Giant maps and bucket escapes at Sharbot Lake HSby Julie Druker
Photo: Mr. Moser's class explores the giant map of North America at SLHS
Students at Sharbot High school participated in two special events this past week that had them in places they don't often find themselves. In Mr. Moser's grade nine class they were in stocking feet walking on top of one of the world’s largest maps of the North American continent. The map, measuring 35 by 26 feet is part of National Geographic's Giant Traveling Maps program, organized by National Geographic Live, the public programming division of the national Geographic Society. The huge vinyl map, which is traveling to various schools in the Limestone District School Board, spent two days at SLHS and students had a chance to interact with it. The map illustrates North America's oceans, rivers seas, mountains, countries, and capitals, and comes with a trunk of accessories including interactive games, atlases and books that teach students about the physical characteristics of the continent, its history and the cultures of the people who inhabit it. During my visit students in Mr. Moser's class students were playing a game of “Simon Says” on the map - the teacher posing questions and the students moving to the appropriate location on the map.
One student, Abby, said she found the map extraordinary. “I never realized how many interesting places there are in Canada let alone in all of North America and how amazing it would be to see those places, most of which I have never seen. The map really helps give you a better understanding of what exactly is in our country, on the continent and just how big the world actually is, “ she said.
SLHS teacher Mr. Randy McVety, who was instrumental in bringing the map to the school, said that the Giant Map program was designed to get kids more interested in geography in a more hands on (and feet on) way. ”We don't often get a chance to get these kinds of tools at the school and we are really very lucky to have it here,” he said. The map was presented to students in a number of different classes including music, Aboriginal studies and geography classes where students were studying population density, watersheds and the Keystone Pipeline. The map will go on to LCVI and Bayridge Secondary Schools in Kingston after its visit to Sharbot Lake.
Meanwhile just outside in the parking lot on May 3, students in Mr. Lyle Young’s specialist high skills major course in forestry were watching Hydro One staff give a number of different demonstrations in celebration of Arbor Week. Students watched as Hydro One employees Mark Brinson, Nick Sproule and Aaron Whitney demonstrated how to make an emergency escape from a Hydro One bucket crane truck. They were also shown how to trim and remove tall trees on the school property using the bucket crane and specialized climbing skills, which is much of the work that Hydro staff perform every day.
Photo: students in Mr. Lyle Young's high skills forestry class celebrate Arbor Week with Hydro One staff
For grade 11 student Duane Riddle the demonstration increased his desire to continue his post secondary studies in forestry, after which he hopes to land an apprenticeship in forestry with Hydro One. “This is something that I am definitely interested in pursuing and the presentation was very motivating. I find forestry work really interesting; I love this type of work and would love to be part of it.” he said. As part of their course the students will be removing trees from the east side of the parking lot in preparation for the building of the new school.
The previous day, on May 2, Hydro One also visited NAEC in Cloyne for Arbour Week. In the photo, grade 4/5 and 5/6 students plant a tree in front of NAEC. The tree was donated by Hydro One. As well, each student received a seedling tree to plant at home. In attendance were four Hydro workers, a bucket truck and two hydro trucks at the presentation. (submitted by Nick Sproule)