By Nicole Dupuis

Spring has sprung and Pukaskwa National Park is now open to school groups! There is an exciting new line-up of Ontario curriculum-based school programs which give teachers the opportunity to transform their lessons into unique outdoor adventures. Parks Canada’s special places offer young Canadians great opportunities to learn about their natural and cultural heritage.

Here are three benefits to bringing students on a field trip to Pukaskwa National Park.

1. Enhance classroom learning objectives

Teachers and school administrators choose field trips that have curricular relevance to classroom educational objectives. Pukaskwa National Park’s school programs enrich and enliven education in all subject areas, and offer students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world situations through lived-experience. All of Pukaskwa National Park’s school programs are created using the Ontario curriculum while keeping in mind that there are many different types of learners and learning styles. The school programs have a balance of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities, making field trips to Pukaskwa ideal teaching tools for all students.

2. Connect with Nature

In the digital age we live in, it is difficult to get children to spend time outdoors. Yet, frequent, positive early childhood experiences with nature have a significant effect on the healthy development of a child’s mind, body, and spirit. Hands-on, exploration, discovery and play inspire children and cultivate a sense of place and a sense of wonder. During educational programs at Pukaskwa National Park, students are outside and using all of their senses to actively explore, experience, and make sense of their environment. These experiences in nature are invaluable to helping children develop a deeper connection with themselves and their interdependence on one another and the Earth’s natural systems.

3. Fun, memories, and friendship

Education aside, unforgettable field trips are created when students are enjoying themselves and a field trip to Pukaskwa is guaranteed to be fun! Part of the reason for field trips is allowing students the opportunity to take a break from the classroom setting, introduce the class to new environments and develop strong bonds with classmates. Students will share knowledge, laughter and memories with their friends and they also may return to the classroom rejuvenated and ready to learn more!

Check out the school programs offered at Pukaskwa National Park. School programming is available annually from May to June and September to October. Hope to see you soon! 

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