Category Archives: Field Trip

Term 2 – Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

The final weeks of term 2 have certainly had a number of exciting occurrences take place! Here are some brief highlights.


Library Club – Fish Division Field Trip

This afternoon a group of thirteen boys made the journey to Noah’s Pet Ark where they selected a variety of new fish for the Library fish tank. The boys who came on the field trip have diligently cared for the fish throughout the school year – cleaning the tank, feeding them, and generally being upstanding fish enthusiasts. As the population of the fish tank grew exponentially today, concerns of unrest amongst the fish are rife. Which fish will become the ringleader of the tank? Will the Gold Gourami be able to continue his dominance? Only time will tell…


Grade 6 Destination Imagination

At the end of February, a group of five grade 6 boys made the journey to Burnaby North Secondary School to participate in the Destination Imagination Regional Tournament. Since their return from Christmas, the boys had been working on creating a vehicle that would be able to make trips back and forth across the presentation area, all while performing a skit. The boys performed admirably well and are currently working on their new and improved solution for Provincials in early April.

DI car.jpg

Grade 4 Skype Visit with Evan Howard

Last Friday, Evan Howard (an adventurer, most recently seen on History Channel’s Curse of the Frozen Gold) joined the grade 4’s online to discuss what it is like to live and survive in the Arctic. This tied in nicely with the Arctic themed book that the boys are reading in Language Arts – Frozen Fire. Evan chatted and shared photos of his attempted winter traverse of the Brooks Range in Alaska before fielding questions from the boys.


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Filed under Enrichment, expert from the community, Field Trip, Fish, Library Club

The Hungry Squid

Today was the first Film Festival of the year, and we chose to show a hilarious and creative short film by John Weldon called The Hungry Squid. If you missed today’s event, you can watch it online by clicking on the picture below. You won’t regret it!

Credit: National Film Board of Canada

Credit: National Film Board of Canada

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Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Squamish We Go

Some Grade 3 students have been working on an inquiry project about birthstones.  As an extension, one of their Moms offered to take the boys to the Britannia Mine Musuem near Squamish, BC.  This was primarily a copper mine, and they found tons and tons of copper there!  The area held one of the largest deposits of copper in the whole world.  It looks like Alistair, Joshua, and Teo had a wonderful experience.

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“I found it interesting how the mine was so long, and how they had to face a lot of darkness, because at that time they didn’t have very powerful lights.  So they actually used candles to see where they were going, but they would blow out.  So then they transitioned to gas lamps and then to battery-powered lamps.  One person’s job (the newbie) was to push around the toilet (which is called a honeydipper.)”

“All of the drills were really loud.  The first one had lots of problems – it was nicknamed the widowmaker and created lots of dust, and often led to people getting killed.  It damaged people’s lungs, which caused them to suffocate and die.  So they made another drill that was powered by water, but it could only drill in the up direction.  It has an ajustable third leg, so it was easy to move around, and was quite light.  There was another drill which could go in any direction.  The miners needed to be very strong to carry around all the equiptment.”

“The miners drilled holes so they could put dynamite inside, which would explode so that they could get the minerals (copper, gold, silver, zinc, lead, and cadmium) out of the rocks.  When the mine was functioning, they produced 17% of the world’s copper!  They also found more gold than some mines that were completely devoted to gold mining.  There is the possibility that you could drill into a mountain, and find absolutely no minerals that were worth anything.  To avoid this, they took samples from the rock to see if there was anything valuable in the area.  The scientists knew what kind of rock copper, gold, etc could be found in.  After finding out that there was copper in the area, it took them almost 10 years to figure out how to get it out.”


Filed under Enrichment, Field Trip, Fun, Grade 3, Photos, Special Events

Field Trip for our iPhones?

Last week, a small group of boys in Grade 7 (plus one lucky Grade 5 student) ventured over to Yaletown by public transit to visit the new head office of Xomo Digital Inc.  Xomo is a company that produces smartphone apps for some of the largest events on earth, including the London 2012 Olympics & the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, South By SouthWest (SXSW), Social Media Week,and Lollapalooza.


The students who visited Xomo were very keen to find out what lay behind their doors – all of them have been working on projects that involve computer programming as well as the development of their own smartphone apps (or at least the attempt thereof.)  They arrived well-informed and with an arsenal of questions, but for most of them, what they discovered was not what they expected.

One of the boys on the trip, Matt, had this to say: “I  learned many things like all of app development is NOT about games and NOT about sitting at a computer typing all day. Planning is A HUGE part of making an app and so is the environment you work in.  What would you prefer?  A dark cramped cubical with harsh lighting?  Or a naturally lighted, social, airy room with lots of rooms to think in, to talk in, and of course, to keep all the Macs in?”

Ken had some similar sentiments: “One of the things that was unexpected was that the office is really comfortable and has a friendly atmosphere.  The entire office was open and everyone could communicate with everyone else.  I thought that companies like this had employees in cubicles, where no one communicated, and it was just ‘work, work, work’ the whole day.”

Alexander S., the sole Grade 5 student on the trip, found out that he had a personal connection with the boss at Xomo: “Ben (West, the co-founder of Xomo) is a Trekkie like me, and they have TNG-themed signs for the “Borg Room” and “Ten Forward” in the lounge.  I personally learned that not all Trekkies are bums that live in their mom’s basement.  Maybe there’s hope for me yet . . .”

Although many of the observations were focused on the work environment, the boys also learned a lot about the app creation process.  Neil had this to say: “(One) important thing that I learned was that app creation doesn’t have to be expensive.  As long as you have people qualified enough to complete the task it can be extremely cost- effective.”

The trip had quite an impact on Alexander W.: “I had a marvelous time going to Mr. West’s office.  I never expected it to be so open or full of ideas.  He was very welcoming and understanding of what we wanted to know.  This was a great learning experience and will definitely be one the main highlights of my time at the Junior School.”

Even Mr. Weber learned a great deal from this visit!  He found it interesting listening to Mr. West talk about the origins of the company, and how he and his business partner secured the contract to build the app for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.  He also found it fascinating hearing about Mr. West’s preparation for a presentation he did for hundreds of people at this year’s SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas.  SXSW is a unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies, where creative and technological professionals gather in the pursuit of new ideas and discoveries.

A big thank you from our whole group to Mr. Ben West for showing us around Xomo’s headquarters, as well as sharing his personal stories and insights about the app development process.  (Thank you as well for the amazing lunch!)  We all had an amazing experience.  Mr. Weber even overheard some of the boys talking excitedly about applying to Xomo for an internship in the future!

Click here (or on the logo above) to visit Xomo’s official website.  Or check out the video below, which offers a demonstration of last year’s SXSW Go app . . .

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Filed under Enrichment, Field Trip, Fun, Grade 5, Grade 7, Special Events