Category Archives: Human Library

Human Library: February Edition

Yesterday we had a fascinating, fun and furry Human Library event: Ann Gunderson, a certified Nosework trainer, visited Saints with her two detection dogs, Keeper and Spring! Ann trains dogs, and humans, in the sport of odor detection, and she taught us all about how dogs use their sense of smell, how powerful their noses are, and how humans can harness this power for work and fun.

Some interesting facts we learned:

  • Even though dog brains are smaller than human brains, the area devoted to processing smells is much, much larger than that of humans.
  • If you dissolved a teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a dog would be able to smell it!
  • Dogs are used for sniffing out not only illegal substances and weapons, but also invasive species such as mussels.

Here are some photos of the day. A big thank you to Ann, Keeper and Spring for sharing their knowledge with us!


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Filed under Animals, Human Library, Special Events

An Arresting Human Library

Today we welcomed our second Human Library guest of the year, Officer Chris Tang with the Vancouver Police Department. As soon as he showed up in full uniform, the behavior of both faculty and students improved immediately.

Officer Tang is with the Department’s identification unit, and he spoke to groups of boys about the process of securing a crime scene and collecting evidence. The boys learned about fingerprinting and the science behind identification. Officer Tang even let them try out the fingerprinting wand, a magnetic device to apply dust to items without smudging any prints, unlike a traditional brush. It was a fun and informative visit and we are so grateful that Officer Tang dropped by!

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Today we welcomed our final Human Library guest of the year – Jeremy McKay, a.k.a. Mr. Yoyo Thrower! Nary a teacher can walk down the hall at St. George’s without risking a minor concussion: yo-yos are far and away the biggest fad this year. While some teachers might consider them an annoyance or health hazard, it’s hard to deny the benefits of learning tricks: physics, hand-eye coordination, concentration and practice. Jeremy, whose day job is a Grade 2 teacher, leads the Vancouver Yo-yo club and has competed at the national and international levels!

Jeremy met with groups of avid yo-yoers and explained the different types of yo-yos, and taught a few tricks. It was a really fun afternoon!

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Sea Star Nerd

Melanie Knight, Marine Biologist, Sea star nerd, aquarium founder & TED presenter visited our school to participate in the Human Library.


You can check out Melanie’s TedxTalk here:




Filed under Animals, Enrichment, expert from the community, Fish, Fun, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Human Library

Yo Yo Crazy

I don’t have any empirical data for this, but I would estimate that I utter (yell?) the phrase “put that yo-yo away!” about 24,736 times a week. Yo-yos are BIG this year at St. Georges. (For the record: I am very pro yo-yo, but very anti reckless-swinging-around-the-library-where-things-can-get-knocked-over.)

Well. If you can keep a secret, I’m going to let something very exciting slip: an upcoming Human Library guest is a yo-yo guru! Jasper in Grade 5 – so often the recipient of my entreaties above – asked if we could invite the current world champion to the school. Unfortunately, Gentry Stein does not live locally, but we’ve secured an awesome yo-yo expert from right here in Vancouver! We’re still working out details so can’t tell you too much yet, but he gave me the heads-up that the Canadian Yo Yo Championships are being held on March 28th at Taylor Park Elementary School! More information can be found here.

If you’re new to the yo-yo craze, check out Gentry Stein’s world championship routine below. It’s incredible!


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Filed under Grade 5, Human Library

Human Library February Edition

This month our Human Book was Jen from Orphaned Wildlife Society (OWL).  She introduced St. George’s to an owl and a falcon that she is rehabilitating at her facility in Delta. Her facility specializes in raptors (i.e. eagles, falcons, hawks and owls). Birds of prey patients at O.W.L. number over four hundred each year and as O.W.L.’s facilities have expanded, so has the intake. Primary care for injured birds (i.e. fluid injections, tube feeding, and initial treatment of broken bones to stabilize) is administered by staff.


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Filed under Animals, Enrichment, expert from the community, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Human Library

January Human Library: Oh Maya!

Today we welcomed Wendy Porter, an archeologist specializing in the Mayan civilization! Wendy brought a wealth of knowledge along with a variety of intriguing artifacts for the students to interact with, including cacao nibs, which the Maya used as currency. (We relaxed the “no eating in the Library” rule today.) She even anticipated the needs of quieter students by coming prepared with questions on cards that they could ask her.

Here are some fascinating facts we learned today:

– The word “shark” comes from the Maya fish god “xoc”

– Cacao was used as money

– Maya children were punished by being held over burning chili peppers!

– The ball used in the Mesoamerican ballgame weighed eight pounds!

Take a peek at the photos below:

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