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Youth diggin' science

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A total of 31 students and seven teachers from across the region were in Rankin Inlet to attend the annual science camp earlier this month.

NNSL photo/graphic

Maria Kasaluak displays a caribou mandible she found during an archeological dig at the Kivalliq Regional Science Camp in Rankin Inlet earlier this month. - photo courtesy of Katharine O'Connell

The camp, which ran from Sept. 7 to 12, is sponsored by the Kivalliq Science Educators Community (KSEC) and is held for two years in each community.

The Rankin camp was also attended by the KSEC's Jim Kreuger of Baker Lake.

Its next location will be chosen during the group's annual meeting in March of 2012 in Rankin.

Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik science teacher Katharine O'Connell said this year's theme was Dig It, highlighting the camp's strong archaeological content.

She said the students enjoyed the camp, despite less-than-perfect weather.

"The camp also had GPS and first-aid components in addition to archaeology, and the students receive two credits for completing the course work," said O'Connell.

"We also had elder Francis Kaput out storytelling and teaching the students how to play traditional string games.

"The students did some drama games during the evening, and we had both a chili cook-off and a bannock bake-off which everyone enjoyed.

"We owe a big thanks to the Girl Guides and the Education Leadership Program for lending us a lot of their equipment for our second camp here in Rankin."

One of the many highlights of the camp was an archaeological pit set up for the students to conduct a dig.

The pit featured various types of animal bones, a broken pana, ulu and other items buried in sand.

After excavating the site, students used reference charts to try and identify what they'd found.

O'Connell said many of the youths enjoyed their time using a GPS.

She said it had them outside, moving around and working together.

"They had one day in less-than-nice conditions and another in pretty nice weather.

"There was a really positive response to the GPS in the evaluations they had to fill out in their books.

"Alan Everard did a tour of the Thule Site for us and that was very informative, despite the weather that day.

"He also took us on a tour of the new vocational school in Rankin, which was an addition from last year, and the students who hadn't been to it before really enjoyed that."

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