Inside Education: Finding new ways for natural resource learning

March 2021 – For more than 10 years, Inside Education and Cenovus Energy have helped youth learn, grow and thrive through the power of experiential learning across Alberta through learning about natural resources. The program takes what could be another module in a textbook and transforms it into a hands-on experience: in-class experiments, nature walks, or even a tour to Alberta’s oil sands.

“Obviously 2020 didn’t go as we had initially planned,” explains Steve McIsaac, CEO of Inside Education. “Our focus has always been direct connections with teachers and students and Inside Education has always been the ‘hands-on learning’ people. But with COVID-19, we had to quickly pivot most of our programming to virtual and online learning.”

With COVID-19 restrictions in place for most of the year, Inside Education reevaluated how to make natural resource learning fun, inspiring and engaging in a virtual environment, for students and teachers alike.

“With our shift to online learning we knew we didn’t just want to put out worksheets – we wanted to provide engaging experiences and put on interactive, virtual presentations,” says McIsaac. “I’m proud to say we were able to reach over 5,100 students and teachers over the year through online sessions, and had so much fun doing them!”

And now, with support from Cenovus, Inside Education has a new office located in the Rocky Mountain Plaza building - which will open up a new world with multi-media options and upgraded AV equipment to increase their ability to provide teachers and students with original programming.

“Hopefully in 2021 we will get back in front of teachers and students at some point but this past year has shown us how we can use multiple delivery options to give us the ability to reach different areas and more remote locations,” explains McIsaac. “And the new office has great space for a potential presentation studio to help us continue improving our online content, while also giving us options for in-person meetings when we can safely host them again.”

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