Elementary: Inspirational Change-Makers

Fera Gunawan Times News

In Mrs. Wasik’s grade five class, students have been developing their communication and interview skills by inviting a number of guest speakers into the classroom. We brainstormed how to demonstrate active listening, be a respectful audience member, ask thoughtful questions, and make personal connections to the new ideas we’re exploring.

In April, we were delighted to meet Mr. Cardinal, a traditional storyteller and the Indigenous Cultural Liaison from The Spirit of the Children Society. Through stories and games, we learned about “keeping the fire burning within our hearts,” and how interconnected we are to the environment and one another. Next, we learned about urban salmon during Mr. Lessa’s “Take a Stand for Conservation” presentation and we enjoyed watching SFU’s educational documentary about BC’s Great Bear Rainforest.

Last week, our resident beekeeper (Mr. Wasik) joined us from the secondary campus and taught us about honeybees and their important role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. We really enjoyed tasting fresh honeycomb and watching mason bees hatch from their cocoons! We also interviewed Naila Moloo (via Zoom), an inspirational Canadian teenager who is currently developing transparent and flexible solar cells leveraging nanomaterials, while simultaneously researching how to invent bioplastics from sustainable biomaterials. Naila is also a published author, and she was recently named the youngest recipient of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women! She taught us about following your curiosity and interests, and to keep trying despite failures and challenges along the way.

Motivated by these positive change-makers, we worked together to think of ways that we, too, can make a difference in our world. We decided we wanted to make a positive impact in our local neighbourhood by supporting pollinators and healthy ecosystems. As a student-led initiative, our class constructed mason and leafcutter bee “hotels” using recycled materials and researched how to care for them. We installed them in our yards and alongside the Pacific Westcoast pollinator-friendly wildflowers and native salal that we planted in our school garden. We have been having so much fun learning about how to be good stewards of God’s creation. Truly, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” – Psalm 24:1.
Jeanine Wasik, Teacher