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Experiential Learning

Piquing the Interests of Grade 9 to 12 Students

In addition to accessing a full slate of academic programs, high school students at Canadian Rockies Public Schools (CRPS) have the opportunity to immerse themselves in hands-on experiences that cultivate a deeper understanding of academic concepts and practical skills. Complementing traditional classroom settings, courses such as synthetic biology, environmental sustainability, and culinary design engage learners in real-world scenarios, problem-solving activities, and interactive projects. By immersing students in authentic learning situations, these courses foster a more profound and lasting comprehension of subjects across various disciplines, igniting students' curiosity and enthusiasm for learning while nurturing essential life skills, including critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and adaptability.

Some of the courses available to students include:

Communication Technology

Communication technology provides students with a unique opportunity to explore how various forms of communication, including presentation, print, photography, and media design, influence different aspects of their lives. The course aims to foster students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills and equip them with essential skills to effectively express their ideas, comprehend others' viewpoints, and successfully complete projects during their time in school – all of which are transferable to other programs of study.


Cosmetology offers students a captivating journey into the world of beauty and aesthetics. Aspiring cosmetologists learn the art of hairstyling, colouring, and cutting, as well as the intricacies of skincare treatments and makeup application, honing their skills on real clients and mannequins alike. Beyond the technical aspects, the course delves into essential theoretical knowledge, including health and safety regulations, sanitation practices, and customer service excellence.

Culinary Design

In this dynamic program, aspiring chefs don their aprons and wield their knives in a busy industrial kitchen, honing their food preparation skills to perfection. Theoretical components include nutrition, food-borne illness, and "the why" behind culinary techniques, while field trips, cooking competitions, and opportunities for scholarships round out the program. Emphasis is on learning safe food handling techniques in a fun learning environment. Students are often heard saying, "Wow – that class sure went by fast!" If you like food – take Foods!

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability is an immersive course centred around the fascinating world of aquaponic systems. Aquaponics is the practice of creating a symbiotic system where fish and plants live in one contained ecosystem, with fish waste providing nutrients for the growing plants, while the plants, in turn, help to clean the water for the fish. Throughout the course, students actively engage in the care and maintenance of the aquatic inhabitants, monitor and harvest a diverse range of fruits and vegetables, and explore the business side, delving into the processes and procedures necessary for establishing ongoing fish populations.

Fashion Design

Fashion design offers a thrilling exploration into the dynamic world of fashion and design, immersing students in the realms of creativity, style, and craftsmanship. From sketching and pattern-making to fabric selection and garment construction, this course provides students with the opportunity to bring their innovative visions to life, while also learning the art of sewing and tailoring, and experimenting with different materials and techniques. Beyond the hands-on experiences, the course delves into fashion history, trends, and the business side of the industry, equipping students with a well-rounded perspective on fashion.


An exhilarating journey into the world of innovation and creativity, maker space is a cutting-edge program allowing students to explore the realms of design, technology, and problem-solving. Requiring students to unleash their imagination and commit to a significant investment in time to design, prototype, iterate, and refine new inventions, the course helps bring their ideas to life through 3D printing, laser cutting, electronics, and woodworking. Beyond the technical skills, the course fosters critical thinking, teamwork, and adaptability, nurturing the next generation of visionary minds.

Synthetic Biology (SynBio)

SynBio is an exciting and cutting-edge field of science that merges principles from biology, engineering, and computer science to design and construct new biological systems or modify existing ones. It involves the use of genetic engineering techniques to manipulate DNA and create organisms with unique functionalities or characteristics not found in nature. Encouraging not only critical thinking and problem-solving skills, this course explores creative and ethical considerations as students grapple with the potential applications and implications of genetic engineering.

For a complete listing of experiential course listings, look to each high school's student/parent handbook.