The landscape of the province of Alberta is changing in terms of education. With the onset of “Inspiring Education”, many schools in Alberta have shifted to new and innovative ways to deliver programs and re-examine how current programs are being delivered. Interestingly many of the key ideas that, provincially, are touted as the “new best thing”, have been commonplace at CCH for some time. One such example is the development of the Science and Inquiry Campus at CCH West.
Originally the idea for the Science and Inquiry Campus for the CCH West came from the High School Redesign Project. From the Project, the educational team at CCH found three facts which led them to see the Westside project as a very natural fit:
- Campus West had a science facility that is designed for collaboration.
- CCH Science teachers were already innovative and creative in their instructional approaches.
- 21st century students need to develop skills in inquiry, problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, and independence.
Additionally, when one considers that we already have two wonderful post-secondary institutions in our city, (the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College), it wasn’t long until this concept became a reality. As educators work together the concept continues to evolve into a CCH success story. As the efforts of Mr.Christensen , Mr.Wikenheiser, Mr.Wilson and Mr.Lebleu developed it became important for them to focus first on the needs of their students. For educators, as Mr. Christensen puts it, “we wanted to better prepare students for post-secondary Science programs.” As a team, these educators have taken something that was great and turned it into something amazing.
As with any process it takes time and effort to develop a solid program and the efforts of the CCH staff should be commended. Although presently the site has only added a powerpoint that you may complete for an extra credit at the 10 level, within the 20 level things are starting to get interesting. A couple of examples include guest speakers from our local post-secondary institutions and visits to laboratory environments at both the university and college. Stay tuned for future updates on their efforts as they continue to fine tune the Science and Inquiry focus on the West campus. Although changes are still on the drawing board for the 30 level subjects educators hope to soon realize their implementation in their classes.
Although timetabling may be one of the biggest challenges for school officials, by putting their heads together, CCH hopes to overcome any obstacles and move the focus forward. As Mr. Christensen points out staff not only had to develop new curriculum but they had to make sure it met with the approval of Alberta Education officials and was in line with where their discussions with post-secondary education had focused.
Sadly, this blog post may not fully articulate all that is happening on the campus but my advice would be to stop in and see firsthand for yourself what is new on the Westside or if you are interested in the area of any of the Sciences at the post-secondary level consult with a school counselor about which program would best suit your own needs.
Adam Kobza is a Grade Twelve student at CCH. He enjoys excessive naps, schedule stuffing, and silly study groups. His favourite thing about CCH is the annual musical.