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Everest 3.0

Provincial elementary students become virtual mountaineers

By Sandy Woolfrey-Fahey

Dr. TA Loeffler’s recent Mount Everest climb provided a unique virtual adventure for students in 40 classrooms across Newfoundland and Labrador this spring.

Through the Everest 3.0 curriculum, designed by recreation students in the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation (HKR), participating classes followed modern-day explorer Dr. Loeffler’s progress up the world’s tallest peak.

High engagement

The students joined in activities about culture, the environment, fitness and more. Everest 3.0 followers were even treated to audio and social media updates sent from the mountain from as high as 7,200 metres.

“I thought it was a great way to make the outcomes of the curriculum more interesting for my students,” said participating teacher Laurie McGrath from Newtown Elementary in Mount Pearl. “For the first time in 19 years, kids met me at the door wanting to do social studies.”

Hear more from Ms. McGrath and her class below.

The five recreation students in HKR, as part of their course work, designed Everest 3.0 to complement curriculum outcomes at the elementary school level and align with Dr. Loeffler’s climb. The team was made up of Kirsten Piedalue, Tiffany Sceviour, Nicole Sullivan, Emily Tucker and Jaymee Webster who all graduated at convocation on June 1.

“This expedition had the highest engagement level of any of my previous ones,” said Dr. Loeffler. “Teachers have been highly complimentary of our recreation students’ work. It was real learning, with real consequences and served as a graduation project of sorts for the recreation students.”

Exploration-based

The Everest 3.0 curriculum included many elements, including information and activity based ideas. Explorers are part of the social studies curriculum, so the team included information about explorers through history. They also wanted to instill respect for the environment while incorporating physical activity, so the environmental components often had physical activity games. Find Your Fit Friday integrated Everest-themed challenges, and the Life on the Mountain section of the curriculum had trivia-based games and fun and interesting information about climbing equipment.

Madison Lockyer is one of Ms. McGrath’s students. She says participating in Everest 3.0 was one of her favourite educational experiences and chose to write about it in a class essay.

For the Everest 3.0 team, it was a rewarding experience that brought their classroom learning to reality. They witnessed their work being used in dozens of classrooms and enjoyed by hundreds of students.

“Even if one kid might have had something change for them and looked forward to being in school that day for the activities, or if we helped even one child be inspired to do more outside or more physical activity, that would be the most rewarding for me,” said Ms. Webster.

Dr. Loeffler was pleased with the many connections the project created.

A longer video featuring the Everest 3.0 project can be found here; curriculum details are available on this site.


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