Rails to Relevance - Claremont Secondary

50 students and their teachers from Claremont Secondary's Institute for Global Solutions, as well as, Saanich-Gulf Islands MP, Elizabeth May, and Saanich South MLA, Lana Popham travelled to Parliament Hill aboard a VIA rail train across Canada.


The teachers from Claremont, with support from Elizabeth May, and Lana Popham, used the opportunity to teach students about Canadian geography and politics as they travel.  Students documented their learning through video and written reflections.  Students explored two guiding questions during their "Rails to Relevance" trip:

1. What does it mean to be a citizen of Canada? 
2. What is Canada's responsibility to the world?

Here are some student reflectiosn from the trip:

"The first day of the trip was beautiful. It started to snow as we went through in the Rocky Mountains and it felt like the whole day were saying "Look out the window it's so  pretty!" Though we were all cranky from a less than fabulous sleep the excitement and good company kept us going.  This morning we woke up to a yellow expanse of dry grass and a few short shrubs. I don't know how long "look out the window it's flat." Is going to last but it's still amazing to see the uniqueness and changes in Canada's landscape.  Here's to another long day of travel!" - IGS student


"After a brief ferry ride on Friday we set to the Vancouver train station. There we were joined by MLA Lana Popham and MP Elizabeth May. So far we have interviewed them both on what it means to be Canadian and Canada's responsibility to the world. We have since travelled through the magnificent Rockies with a brief stop at Jasper and continued to the painfully flat prairies. So far the highlight would be an incredible snowball fight at midnight at Edmonton. The drawback of a trip like this is the cramped sleeping conditions. We have done a good job negotiating the space and everyone on the train has been able to get along with each other so far. We have passed through Winnipeg and while we were their got some wonderful fast food. Most of our time on the train has been spent doing homework, watching movies, talking to people on the train and filming the Canadian landscape. The documentaries produced from this trip our going to be incredible beautiful from all the shots we have got from the train. I am excited to get to Toronto and continue to Ottawa to see parliament in session." - IGS student