Digital learning in nature

Alanna Kelly

Students taking part in Get Outside B.C. graduated today and got a chance to take learning to a whole new level.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society hosted their final celebration in Mission Creek Park on Sunday.

“All across B.C. we host the Get Outside B.C. program so we bring together youth aged 14 to 18 who haven’t traditionally had access to the outdoors,” said Alana Wittman community engagement coordinator at CPAWS

A special mission and scavenger hunt was created for the students by Agents of Discovery, a Kelowna based company using augmented reality gaming to get kids exploring and learning in nature.

“We consider ourselves the Pokemon GO of education,” said Oliver Eberle, project coordinator at  Agents of Discovery.

“We have a platform where park and nature centre representatives can log in and create their own mobile games and get kids learning about wildlife and what’s around them in the park.”

Students used the game to explore Mission Creek while learning about the local ecology.

“It is really important to get kids moving, and there is a lot of research that shows that kids are not necessarily going into the parks so we are trying to use this tool as a way to get them into the parks and spark that moment where maybe they get passionate about wildlife or parks in their community,” said Eberle.

Graduates also took part in many other activities as part of the progem.

“They’ve gone through lots of workshops event planning, leadership, outdoor skills, wilderness first aid… just a whole tool kit so they can keep getting outside,” said Wittman.

To learn more about CPAWS visit this link.

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