Explore Camp program will not be offered in Summer 2023.
Jan 26, 2023 01:00 pm

School Workshops

Dear Principals, Teachers, Education Assistants, Activity Coordinators, and Office Managers, 

We at Explore Workshops and Summer Camp would love to help you celebrate the end of your school year by showing your students how passion can merge with your curriculum, offering a variety of geography-themed workshops. 

Run through the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University, Explore provides workshop programming for students in kindergarten to grade eight, available from May 14th to June 24th, 2020.  Explore consists of a group of enthusiastic Queen’s University undergraduate students who love working with kids and are eager to share knowledge about the world we live in with your students. Running for its 15th consecutive year, Explore offers an exciting way to spark curiosity in students in nine different workshops, tailored to your classroom! Incorporating specific expectations from the Ontario Curriculum, Explore workshops are designed to allow your students to travel around the world in the comfort of your classroom, while developing an understanding of environmental issues that face our world today. 

Workshops are one hour in length and cost $85.  Registration Form available here (pdf, 263kB).

Please find enclosed information for all of our workshops. If you are looking for a special addition to the end of your school year, we’ve got what you need! We would be happy to discuss any accommodations your class might require. For booking requests, please contact us by email at explore.geography@queensu.ca, or fax your requests to (613) 533-6122. We are happy to answer any questions by email or by telephone at (613) 533-6000 ext. 77214. 

We are very excited about the workshops we have prepared for your classroom, and we cannot wait to meet you and your students. Because of a high demand, ensure to submit your requested dates early so we can best accommodate your needs. 

Thank you for your interest. We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Carolyn Scott
Executive Director
Explore Workshops and Summer Camp 2020

Explore Workshop Descriptions and Curriculum Expectations for 2020

Garden Growers – Recommended Age Group: Grades K-1

From tiny seeds to plants and trees! In this workshop, students will grow their knowledge of plants and their uses. Through a series of hands on stations, students will have the chance to learn all about the different parts of plants, how people use the different plant parts, and what a plant needs to survive. This workshop will also allow children to continue their learning outside of the classroom with a planted seed of their own!

Curriculum Expectations: Students will…

  • Investigate and compare the physical characteristics of plants (e.g., basic parts, size, shape, colour) and explain how they help the plant meet its basic needs.
  • Investigate and compare the basic needs of humans and other living things, including the need for air, water, food, warmth, and space.
  • Create a plan that outlines some specific ways in which they can responsibly interact with the natural environment in the local community.

Seasons of the Year – Recommended Age Group: Grades K-1

It’s raining, it’s pouring, this workshop is anything but boring! Students will learn all about weather and the seasons of the year. We will explore how the weather impacts animals, vegetation, and people! Students will work in small groups to learn about the changes of the year and finish off with making a teaching tool that they can keep and share with their families too.

Curriculum Expectations: Students will…

  • Assess the impact of daily and seasonal changes on living things, including humans.
  • Investigate daily and seasonal changes.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of what daily and seasonal changes are and of how these changes affect living things.

Our Place in this World – Recommended Age Group: Grades K-3

What does it mean to be a member of a community? In this workshop, students will learn about communities and neighbourhoods and how we can navigate through these areas to visit our favourite places with the cardinal directions, maps, and other tools! This interactive workshop will allow students to explore key attributes of their surrounding community and neighbourhood, develop a stronger understanding of landmarks in communities and attempt to classify communities from their neighbourhood to a global scale.

Curriculum Expectations: Students will…

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic elements of a map when reading and constructing simple maps showing places that are significant to them.
  • Analyse and construct simple maps of places they have visited, using symbols and non-standard units.
  • Identify some different groups in their community, and describe some of the ways in which they contribute to diversity in Canada.

Shake, Rattle and Roll – Recommended Age Group: Grades K-6

Is your classroom a disaster?  Well it’s going to be!  This high energy workshop brings earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, thunderstorms and many more natural phenomena into your classroom.  With interactive demonstrations and awesome hands-on activities, your students are guaranteed to have an electrifying experience that will get them excited about social studies and science.  Students will also gain a better understanding of Canada’s participation in disaster relief efforts.  This is one workshop that will finish your year off with a bang!

Curriculum Expectations: Students will…

  • Recognize that the world is made up of countries, continents, and regions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between location and climate.
  • Describe Canada’s participation in international efforts to address current global issues.

Ecological Footprint – Recommended Age Group: Grades 5-8

How much garbage do you create in a year? How much water do you waste? What is the difference between renewable and non-renewable resources? In this workshop, students will learn about some of Canada’s natural resources while also finding out about their ecological footprint and how to reduce waste. Students will participate in a variety of activities including creating their own ecological footprints, and even building their own composters.

Curriculum Expectations: Students will…

  • Demonstrate an understanding that it is important to treat the environment with respect.
  • Create a plan that outlines some specific ways in which they can responsibly interact with the natural environment in the local community.
  • Identify personal action that they themselves can take to help maintain a healthy environment for living things, including humans.

Ecstatic about Ecosystems – Recommended Age Group: Grades 4-6

Want to get your students’ brains working and their hearts pumping? Look no further. A stimulating game show will introduce the students to some of Canada’s 15 terrestrial and 5 marine ecosystems and explore species within them. Finally a engaging activity will highlight the dynamics of the food chain and the destructive forces, such as urban sprawl, forest fires, invasive species and toxic waste, which affect an ecosystem’s health and sustainability. This workshop is an adventure in which students will learn how special each Canadian ecosystem is!

Curriculum Expectations: Students will…

  • Understand that changes to habitats (whether caused by natural or human means) can affect plants and animals and the relationships between them.
  • Identify examples of environmental conditions that may threaten plant and animal survival (e.g., hunting, disease, invasive species, changes in or destruction of its habitat).
  • Identify animals that are carnivores, herbivores, or omnivores.

Out of This World – Recommended Age Group: Grades 4-8

Prepare for lift off! In this workshop your students will rocket through the history of space travel and see Canada’s impact in the stars. In small group stations, students will learn about the fundamental features of flight and rocket ships by developing their very own rockets. Students will conclude by deciding which planet humans should explore next!

Curriculum Expectations: Students will…

  • Assess the contributions of Canadians in space.
  • Evaluate the social and environmental costs and benefits of space exploration.
  • Identify the technological tools and devices needed for space exploration.
  • Identify components of the solar system, including the sun, the earth, and other planets, natural satellites, comets, asteroids, and meteoroids, and describe their physical characteristics in qualitative terms.

The Ins and Outs of Global Trade – Recommended Age Group: Grades 5-8

Do your students know where their favourite candy bar came from before it ended up in their stomach? They might think that the answer is “the convenience store,” but after this workshop they will be able to say that the cocoa used was grown in Brazil. This workshop will educate students about the extensive resources, labour and transportation involved in the production of common commodities that they use every day. To conclude, students will get the chance to participate in their own eye-opening game of international trade and learn the basics of imports, exports and globalization.

Curriculum Expectations: Students will…

  • Describe some of the connections Canada shares with the rest of the world.
  • Identify products that Canada imports and exports.
  • Identify and describe the significance of several indicators that are commonly used to measure quality of life on a global scale and compare them.
  • Identify various factors that can contribute to economic development.
  • Identify groups and organizations that work to improve quality of life.

Getting Settled – Recommended Age Group: Grades 4-8

Getting settled will take explorers back in time and give us a look at what it was like to be an early settler. Together we will examine the roles that the land and the surrounding environment played in the everyday life of the settlers, with a focus on forestry, wildlife, farming, and bodies of water. Students will consider sustainable solutions and put their skills to the test in a class-wide competition that limits their resources to see if they’ve got what it takes to overcome a challenge!

Curriculum Expectations: Students will…

  • Identify the aspects of the environment that allowed for growth within the settlements. (Trees, Land, Water).
  • Analyze some of the general ways in which the natural environment of regions in Canada has affected the development of industry.
  • Describe some key action taken by both industries and citizens to address the need for more sustainable use of land and resources.