Evening Information Session
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
5:30 – 7:00 pm
Sentinel Secondary
General Academy & Academic Overview 5:30-6:00 pm | Library
Environmental Science Academy Information 6:00-7:00 pm | Room 323

To attend the Evening Information Session, please complete the Student Information Form. This program is for grade 11 & 12 students only.

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The Premier Environmental Science Academy is another example of the West Vancouver Schools’ commitment to facilitating increased student opportunities continuing to include academic areas of focus.

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Overview of Program: Variety and Opportunity

West Vancouver Schools Premier Environmental Science Academy provides students with opportunities to perform experiments and field research under the tutelage of a qualified science teacher and the guidance of scientists who are experts in their own fields of research. In addition, the course blends in-class theory with on-site practice through collaboration with field experts who have the requisite resources and laboratory space. Outdoor design experiments can also take place at this site, as environmental systems are explored.


The instructional goals are derived from the College Board’s AP Environmental Science curriculum. Language below has been adapted from the AP Environmental Science course overview.

In AP Environmental Science, students are required to:

  • Identify and analyse natural and human-made environmental problems
  • Evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems
  • Examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them
  • Recognize that environmental science is interdisciplinary and requires embracing of topics from geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry and geography

There are several unifying themes that cut across topics. The following are course themes:

  • Science can be studied as a series of processes
  • Energy conversions underlie all ecological processes
  • The Earth itself has interconnected processes creating a unified system
  • Humans alter natural processes
  • Environmental altercations have a cultural and social context
  • Human survival depends on developing practices that will achieve sustainable processes and maintain functional systems

The following are topics of study:

  • Earth Systems and Resources
  • The Living World
  • Population
  • Land and Water Use
  • Energy Resources and Consumption
  • Pollution/Toxicology
  • Global Change

Because it is designed to be a course in environmental science rather than environmental studies, the AP Environmental Science course includes a strong laboratory and field investigation component.

These investigations challenge students’ abilities to:

  • Critically observe environmental systems
  • Develop and conduct well-designed experiments
  • Utilize appropriate techniques and instrumentation with opportunities to practice and improve these skills
  • Analyze and interpret data, including appropriate statistical and graphical presentations
  • Think analytically and apply concepts to the solution of environmental problems
  • Make conclusions and evaluate their quality and validity
  • Propose further questions for study
  • Communicate accurately and meaningfully about observations and conclusions.
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Fact Sheet

  • Students must be enrolled in one of WVS three secondary schools in Grades 11 or 12 in September, 2018
  • The program provides the AP Environmental Science 12 course credit toward graduation
  • AP Environmental Science 12 is a university admissions course
  • The classroom sessions will take place at the Centre for Aquaculture and Environmental Research (CAER) facility: 4160 Marine Dr, West Vancouver
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The Program Concept

Students must be registered at any one of West Vancouver Schools’ three secondary schools: Rockridge, École Sentinel or West Vancouver Secondary.

Boys and girls in grades 11 & 12, will be eligible to apply to the program. Students’ timetables will reflect the scheduling of the course during an afternoon period (every other day) in a classroom setting at the Centre for Aquaculture and Environmental Research (CAER) where students would also have access to additional field and laboratory settings.

Students will be transported one-way to the CAER facility every other day in the afternoon period (1:45 to 3:00 pm). It would be the parent or student responsibility to depart from the facility at the end of the school day or class.

Students must have completed Science 10.  In addition, exposure to laboratory science (life science and physical science) is recommended.

Due to the quantitative analysis required in this course, students should be familiar and comfortable with algebra.  Also desirable (but not necessary) is a familiarity of earth science.

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Sample Learning Experiences

  • Access to scientists who are experts in their fields
  • Access to learn in a research facility
  • Access to resources and laboratory space as available at Pacific Science Enterprise Centre
  • Summer reading preparation with an exciting book recommendation related to such areas as ecology, conservation, and environmental issues
  • Follow-up discussions, 20-minutes seminar & student-led presentations of summer book readings
  • Skills-based lessons targeting reading & note-taking strategies, dynamic presentations, effective web-based research including data bases, and experimental design and analysis
  • Collaborative proposal and CAER-Scientist Mentored Investigation (February/March) along with formal presentations
  • Case-studies’ approach with a UN Sustainability framework of environment, economy and society, applied to current environmental issues including aquaculture, softwood lumber in BC, pipelines, the Fraser River and Site C dam
  • Guest speakers from the Federal, Municipal and community levels with a focus on inquiry-based, factual scenarios
  • Community-based volunteer opportunities with West Vancouver Streamkeepers’ Society, Lighthouse Park Ecology Society and Wild Research British Columbia

Tuition $3250 per year or $325 per month (September – June)

Bus Transportation

Students are provided with bus transportation from Rockridge, École Sentinel  and West Vancouver Secondary Schools.

Parents are responsible for pick up at 3:00 pm from CAER facility (4160 Marine Dr, West Vancouver, BC V7V 1H2)

Requirements & Registration

A student selected to participate in the Premier Environmental Science Academy Program must provide a copy of their most recent report card, indicating good progress in academic subject areas, as well as evidence of socially responsible behaviour, an excellent work ethic, and an overall positive attitude.  Students must have completed Science 10. In addition, exposure to laboratory science (life science and physical science) is recommended.  Due to the quantitative analysis required in the course, students should be familiar and comfortable with algebra.  Also, desirable (but not necessary) is a familiarity of Earth Science.

Contact Information

Diane Nelson
Director of Instruction
West Vancouver Schools Premier Academy Programs
Office Direct Line: 604-981-1150
Cell: 604-786-3575
Email: dnelson@wvschools.ca

Students interested in the Premier Environmental Science Academy must submit the Student Information Form.