Typically, as part of their grade 10 science curriculum, TOPS students participate in a four-day-long expedition to Algonquin Provincial Park. To begin this experience, the grade 10 students must first undergo weeks of training in identifying the park’s birds, mammals, and trees; testing for water conditions involving nitrates, phosphates, and pH; and utilizing temperature and turbidity probes. This is all done in an effort to collect accurate ecological data on various sites in the park. These sites, often deep in the woods, are part of a challenging hike, led by senior students and fearless teachers.
Outside of their scientific experiments, students engage in a uniquely rewarding experience as they spend their time learning about the park’s rich history, cooking their own meals, and howling for wolves. Finally, as the conclusion to an academic experience, students return from the park and compare their data to those of previous expeditions to conduct longitudinal studies of the park’s ecosystem.