In October, 5 students had an amazing opportunity to travel to Canada to participate in Bio-Innovation Week. The event took place in Winnipeg and involved 5 schools, both international and local. Throughout the week, the students participated in several interactive and educational activities related to issues associated with sustainability and food and water security in the farming industry.

The first week of the trip was spent at Niagara Falls, Ontario. Some activities included the ‘Hornblower’, experiencing the falls up close on a boat and ‘Journey Behind the Falls’, walking in tunnels built behind the falls, and the ‘White Water Walk’, which was a recreational trail walk alongside the Great Narrow Gorge. One activity in particular, Niagara’s Fury, taught the students about how the Niagara Falls formed. During the Ice Age, large sheets of ice covered the area of Niagara. 12,000 years ago, the ice glaciers around Niagara Falls began to melt. As the ice began to melt and thaw, the high pressures of water slowly carved a path to where Niagara’s Escarpment now is. This process continued over several thousand years, breaking the rock sediment slowly over time to form Niagara Falls. Students also visited the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens & School of Horticulture.

While in Winnipeg we also went to the Human Rights Museum, where we explored how the rights of people have been treated throughout history. We linked this into our upcoming trip to Kelburn Farm by looking at the food and water security rights that Indigenous peoples have in Winnipeg. It also linked perfectly to our Sustainable Futures Central Study at the ASMS which was fantastic!

During the second week, we spent two days at the Kelburn Farm learning about Manitoba’s vast agriculture industry. We went to sessions where experts taught us different aspects of agriculture and the science behind the choices they make. This included learning about soils and farming practices used in the province. We also learnt about agricultural considerations that were specific to Manitoba such as the use and runoff of herbicide/ pesticide as well as the different soil types that the prairies consisted of. Reflecting apon this to see how this might apply to our local agriculture industry.

We worked in groups with people from across Winnipeg and also England to use the information that we had learnt to create a model for a sustainable farm that would benefit both the farmer and the environment. After which, we presented these ideas and arguments to our peers and experts.

As you can tell from these photos, the weather was quite amazing; raging from a sunny 20 degrees to minus 2 with blizzards.

Kay Gillett, Accompanying Teacher (Coordinator Partnerships for Learning)