There are days when Andy Lamb must feel like a rock star. Granted, the small-but-mighty community of Thetis Island isn’t a stadium full of fans, but judging by all the excited exclamations by Thetis Island Elementary Students, you’d never know the difference.
Andy is a well-known naturalist and educator who now calls Thetis Island his home. With decades of experience at the Vancouver Aquarium and Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Andy is an extraordinarily qualified guide. Students were out at Andy’s house for the annual beach walk. A perennial favorite among the K-7 students, who generally attend school in one of BC’s last one-room schoolhouses.
The excited students scrambled down to the beach at low tide to discover and learn as a group. Excited shrieks of ‘Andy Lamb” “Andy Lamb!’ from each group of students as they uncovered creatures on the beach.
From sea cucumbers to crabs, lemon nudibranch to Midshipman (and their eggs), and a myriad of other creatures, the students carefully found sea life hiding in the eelgrass meadows and nooks and crevices around the beach. Many creatures were gathered in buckets and water was added. Students were able to explore how this sea life related to the environment they were in.
After a few hours exploring in the beautiful sun all the creatures were placed back in their homes and students went back to replenish their energy with a post-adventure snack.
This incredible on-the-land learning experience is part of the Thetis Island Elementary inter-generational initiative to bring together knowledge keepers and elders in the community with students. The school recently won another Gold Star award from the BC Retired Teachers’ Association for this work.