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 Forum Index > H.W.F. Goes Wild in the Schools > School Classrooms
 2010/11 Gordon Terrace Elementary School - Cranbrook,BC
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By: SMW (offline) on Friday, January 14 2011 @ 07:47 PM EST  
SMW

Yesterday the Gordon Terrace Outdoor Club went for our first winter outing to Elizabeth Lake where we went snowshoeing after school. With a fresh fall of snow, conditions were perfect. Interestingly, several students noticed the smell of rotten vegetation although the lake was frozen over with a thick layer of ice with snow on top.

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By: SMW (offline) on Saturday, January 15 2011 @ 08:18 PM EST  
SMW

What a difference forty eight hours make. Shortly after we finished our snowshoeing a warm front moved in followed by rain and milder temperatures. When I went for a walk today, the lake was covered in water as a result of milder temperatures, intermittent rain, and run off from two storm sewer ouflows which empty into the lake.

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Run off entering the lake.

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Quite a contrast to our snowshoe trip on Thursday.


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By: SMW (offline) on Saturday, January 22 2011 @ 07:19 PM EST  
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Sadly we had to cancel this week's snowshoe outing with the Outdoor Club due to the icy conditions. On the bright side the weather feels more like winter with cooler temperatures over the past few days with night time temperatures dipping to as low as -14. Yesterday it snowed intermittently during the afternoon.

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So much for all the snow we had at school. By Monday much of it had melted leaving large puddles in the middle of the playground.
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By midweek temperatures were starting to drop again after the sun went down. This shows the moon above the Steeples which are part of the Rockies just after 5 PM.
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Elizabeth Lake with a light dusting of snow. Check out last week's entry showing water lying on the ice after a thaw.


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By: SMW (offline) on Wednesday, January 26 2011 @ 10:37 PM EST  
SMW

Today our class was one of three who had special presentations about the polar bear from Pamela and Jeff Cooper from Kimberley, who have spent time in Churchill, Manitoba, getting to know all there is to know about polar bears.
Their visit was made possible through funding from Wild Voices for Kids. (http://drc.sd5.bc.ca/Wild_Voices_for_Kids.html)

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Ms. McKenzie's kindergarten class were amazed to learn that a polar bear weighs more than their whole class.

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Mrs. Ruoss's kindergarten class tried to be as scary as possible by imitating the polar bear on the overhead.

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Our class enjoyed a slide show as well as a question and answer session. Afterwards students made individual webs of what they learned. Tonight they are sharing these with their parents. Parents have been asked to work with students to come up with ideas of what we can do to help polar bears survive in a warmer world where the ice takes longer to form on the sea, and begins to melt earlier in the spring. Polar bears depend on there being ice on the sea when they go hunting for ringed seals.


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By: SMW (offline) on Friday, January 28 2011 @ 07:52 PM EST  
SMW

Following the presentation about the plight of the polar bears, we brainstormed ways to help polar bears. Then students were encouraged to write about what they had learned. Some wrote to polar bears, others to their parents or a friend. Here is Caleb's letter (from the point of view of a polar bear).

Dear Carter,

Life hasn't turned out very well for me because the ice isn't freezing fast enough. First people need to use less hot water. Second they need short showers. Third you should hang up your clothes on a clothesline. Fourth, when you leave the house, you should turn the heat down and (turn it down) overnight. 5th, don't use aerosol sprays. If you do all of this, it will help me and my family survive.

Thank you.

From Caleb


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By: SMW (offline) on Wednesday, February 02 2011 @ 11:41 PM EST  
SMW

Today's trip to Elizabeth Lake was cool with the temperature hovering around minus ten, but we were warmly dressed and walked briskly. We were on our way to look around the new development at the Elizabeth Lake Lodge as part of our study of different community structures. We took time to notice different things around us and considered how a tall street light needs a concrete base and four heavy duty nuts and bolts to hold it up, and how it is that a ponderosa pine can stand almost three times taller by itself. On our walk back to school we also noticed the smell of rotting vegetation at the outflow.

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Interesting patterns made by water as it spills over the outflow.

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Ice crystal tapestry.


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By: SMW (offline) on Friday, February 11 2011 @ 12:39 AM EST  
SMW

Today the Outdoor Club went for a hike to Lone Pine Hill close to Wycliffe off Pighin Road. The snow in this area is relatively sheltered from the sun and was over two feet deep. Although we had a smaller group of students than last time, they were enthusiastic and keen to reach the top. The panoramic views to the Rockies to the East and the Purcell Mountains to the West were worth the climb. Truly a memorable snowshoe hike!!

By the way, a parent and her older daughter spotted an osprey flying overhead at one point on our hike.

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There was no shortage of snow for our hike.

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We made the top in good time.

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A memorable hike with an enthusiastic group of kids and adults.


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By: SMW (offline) on Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 01:01 AM EST  
SMW

Cranbrook Mountain is over 2000 meters high and is near the source of the Joseph Creek. As it drops in elevation, Joseph Creek is supplemented by Gold Creek via a pipeline before flowing into Phillips Reservoir, which is Cranbrook's main source of water. Then it flows through Cranbrook before joining the St. Mary River, which joins the Kootenay River close to Ft. Steele.

I first climbed the mountain in January 2007 in one of my first ever snowshoe hikes. Today was the perfect day for snowshoeing, and I was excited to return to the summit with two parents of former students, who had invited me to join them. The snowpack varied in depth from half a meter to almost three meters in places depending on elevation, and whether that side faced south or north, and whether it was exposed to the wind. We all gazed in wonder at the panoramic views, and marvelled at snow ghosts created by snow, ice and wind. Truly a memorable hike with good friends on a perfect day.

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Looking NE towards the Rockies.

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Looking N towards Cranbrook from the summit.

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Any precipitation falling on the western slopes of Cranbrook Mountain eventually becomes part of the Moyie River watershed.


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