Inquiry School is Back in Session at the Ballpark!
With the support of Qualico, the hands-on learning experience is back for year two!
As RE/MAX Field began to settle down after a whacky summer of Riverhawks baseball, the ballpark once again transitioned into an interactive classroom for local elementary classes taking part in the second annual Riverhawks Inquiry School, built by Qualico.
The Inquiry School program was first launched in 2022 when members of the Riverhawks organization Kathy Gregg and Lori Bosworth, both former teachers from the Edmonton area, recognized the benefits of similar inquiry-based schools throughout the city. Learning sites such as the Fort Edmonton Park School and the Edmonton Valley Zoo School inspired the thought to turn RE/MAX Field and its surrounding community of Rossdale into a classroom of its own!
Inquiring Minds is a method of teaching pioneered by Dr. Gillian Kydd, an educator from Calgary, Alberta. The concept of Inquiring Minds focuses on “learning by doing” and encourages classes to enhance their educational experience by visiting unique and enriching locations to supplement traditional learning in a classroom setting.
The Riverhawks Inquiry School, led by experienced Inquiry-based teacher Terri Elliot, has been designed to cover all the bases, both literally and figuratively! Terri explains that “the time the classes spend at RE/MAX Field itself and with the experts who work in and around it, allow students to see how the curriculum (science, math, social studies, reading and writing, art, physical education etc.) all work in the real world.”
The program includes two days of lessons designed to meet curriculum expectations and offer engaging, hands-on learning activities!
Upon arrival at the ballpark, each class receives matching Riverhawks Inquiry School hats, t-shirts and journals to write and sketch in, a hit amongst the kids, with one student commenting that their class “looks like a real baseball team!”
Students have the chance to meet Osaruius, a red-tailed hawk from the Strathcona Raptor Shelter and learn all about his species from an expert! And of course, they also get to meet the two lovable hawks who rule the roost at RE/MAX Field, River and Kid! “My brother is going to be so jealous,” one student commented after getting his Riverhawks baseball card signed by the mascots. “I’m going to keep this card in a special place in my room!”
The students also get a sneak peek into what goes on behind the scenes of a baseball organization including a behind-the-scenes tour of RE/MAX Field and the chance to learn about different career paths in the sports industry from Riverhawks General Manager Steve Hogle and Managing Director Dr. Randy Gregg!
And of course, a hands-on learning experience at the ballpark wouldn't be complete without playing some ball! Edmonton Riverhawks Assistant Coach Dylan Flasch leads students through two days of learning new baseball skills as well as the ins and outs of the game! They then get to put those skills to the test with an on-field scrimmage, a unique experience for many students who have never had the opportunity to play the game of baseball!
Beyond the baseball-centric components of the program, students also get the opportunity to learn more about the valuable history of the Treaty 6 Territory that RE/MAX Field is located on. Indigenous Leads from the school districts around Edmonton join the Inquiry School class to share their stories and participate in a traditional smudging ceremony. Students also take time to visit the Rossdale Sacred Burial Grounds and the Indigenous Art Park: ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞ in Queen Elizabeth Park.
After one class’s visit to the Sacred Grounds, a parent wrote that she had "never noticed it was there and had learned so much at the Inquiry School session that she will never drive by it again without remembering those who came before."
When asked about the overall importance of offering an Inquiry School Program, instructor Terri Elliott explained why a community initiative of this nature is so valuable to the Riverhawks organization. “The Inquiry School program allows the Riverhawks to expand upon their efforts to engage the community, specifically students, teachers and their families. It contributes to their goal to make Edmonton an even greater place to live, work and play.”
A goal that could not be achieved without the support of our like-minded partners who support these community-building initiatives including the sponsor of the Riverhawks Inquiry School, Qualico!
Qualico is an industry-leading real estate company operating in Western Canada and the United States. Both the Riverhawks and Qualico share a common guiding principle of striving to build community.
“It’s always been a commitment of our shareholders to participate in initiatives like this that will move our community forward,” Qualico’s Regional Vice President of Northern Alberta, Shane Erickson explained.
When Shane stopped by the ballpark to visit an Inquiry School class in session, he got the chance to see the positive impact that the program is having on the students. “Lifelong learning is something that we like to support at Qualico and the Inquiry School certainly meets that initiative,” he proudly added.
Shane left the young students of Inquiry School with a few words of wisdom, telling them to “take advantage of these opportunities and explore their creativity” and to “bring their best to their learning experience every day.”
Thanks to the help of Qualico, the Inquiry School has been garnering positive reviews from students, parents and teachers. One mother of a student telling Terri that the Inquiry School had been such an amazing learning opportunity. “I am leaving here a wiser woman. All Edmontonians should experience this venue,” she stated.
The classes who are participating in this year's Inquiry School program will be returning to RE/MAX Field in the spring for the final two sessions of their Inquiry School experience.
With the support of Qualico, the Edmonton Riverhawks are looking forward to hosting more teachers and enthusiastic students for years to come at the ballpark!
For more information on how your class can become involved in the Riverhawks Inquiry School, please email email@example.com for more details!