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Learning at Agri-Ecosystems Day 2024

Posted on May 28, 2024

Each school year, FortWhyte Alive hosts three Specialty Science Days – days filled with special activities and stations around different aspects of environmental education. These experiences offer middle and high school students the opportunity to learn about environmental science from scientists and experts in these fields.

Agri-Ecosystems Day welcomed nearly 70 Grade 9-12 students and their educators from 7 rural and urban schools for a day of learning about how soil, water, weather, animals, and plants interact in an agricultural system.

students watch presenter speak on Agri Ecosystems Day

Learning outcomes from this year’s Agri-Ecosystems Day included:

  • Students learned how sustainable land management can protect surrounding ecosystems and provide better yields. Students learned about different soil properties like texture and colour, and how that affects water absorption and drainage. They also tested the soil’s chemistry, detecting different levels of nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that feed the crops.
  • The exciting demonstration “The Amazing Rain and Snow Show” showed how rainfall and snowmelt move soil from agricultural fields into the watershed, and how different land use affects how soil and nutrients flow.
  • Students visited FortWhyte’s bison herd and learned from a livestock expert about how grazers like cattle can help protect grassland biodiversity.
  • Weather is hugely impactful on producers – and climate change is causing challenges with drought and flooding alike. Students visited a weather monitoring station, learned about changes in weather patterns, and tested out equipment used to monitor rainfall.
  • Surveying is a skill used in many fields of work. Students got to try their hand at surveying different elevations.


"I learned about how to tell the difference and find the characteristics of the soil. I liked figuring out whether the soil is more sandy or clay rich by doing the ribbon soil test. I learned about how the kind of soil affects water absorption and drainage."


Students watch presenter at Agri Ecosystems Day

"The most meaningful part of the day was exposure to the many aspects of bringing food to the table and learning how agriculture is so complex."


Thank you to the facilitators from Manitoba Agriculture, Redboine Watershed District and Nutrients for Life.

Throughout the year FortWhyte Alive is proud to host scientists and experts who share their knowledge with students through free educational experiences. Each Specialty Science day has a different focus so students have the opportunity to learn about different careers and aspects of environmental science.

Thanks to our generous sponsors Cargill, as well as NSERC-Promoscience and Honda Canada Foundation, for supporting this year’s Agri-Ecosystems Day.