Alberta Tomorrow Virtual School Programs

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Thumbnail of: See Yourself in Our Story!

See Yourself in Our Story!

See Yourself in Our Story!

Pledge: C$200.00
Get a virtual or in-person classroom visit with Executive Director Jennifer Janzen! For those who are learning from home, we would like to offer a personalized online tutorial of the Alberta Tomorrow Simulator including a walkthrough of some of the supplemental learning resources.
Get a virtual or in-person classroom visit with Executive Director Jennifer Janzen! For those who are learning from home, we would like to offer a personalized online tutorial of the Alberta Tomorrow Simulator including a walkthrough of some of the supplemental learning resources.
Pledge: C$200.00
Estimated Delivery: 0000-00-00
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Campaign Description

Alberta Tomorrow's mission is to deliver a platform that empowers youth to design and sustain a future for our shared ecosystem! During these Covid times, we are transitioning our school programs to virtual visits and need your help! Our free, online, interactive planning tool is designed for students, teachers and all Albertans interested in the future of our province. It was originally created in 2005 by Matthew Carlson and Dr. Brad Stelfox of ALCES Landscape & Land-Use Ltd. and has undergone many revisions and updates since that time. Our vision is an informed society that actively fosters sustainable futures!

Be Part of Shaping the Future!

Alberta is at a tipping point having seen unprecedented growth in the past few years that has put a tremendous strain on our natural landscape. Land-uses such as oil and gas, agriculture, forestry, settlement, and recreation are all competing for limited resources. All of these land-uses provide benefits for Albertans, but most often also come with environmental liabilities. 

Decisions we make in our province affect the environment, economy and people and have far reaching effects on the provincial, national and global scale. We can no longer develop the land in an unplanned way, without considering the future impacts of our actions.

As Dr. Brad Stelfox states, “One of the most critical issues confronting contemporary society is the need to effectively plan our future landscapes. Proper planning requires an understanding of the trade-offs being made as we choose to how to provide Albertans with food, fiber, shelter, recreation, energy, transportation and other infrastructures.”

We believe that students need to see the “big picture”. It is important that our students know the natural regions of Alberta, the benefits and liabilities of using our natural resources, but also the cumulative effects of all our resource use together. A thorough understanding of our impact on both the economy and environment are necessary to make sustainable land-use plans for our future that will ensure we have both a prosperous economy and healthy environment.  These concepts may sound complex however we have proven they can be understood by Alberta students.

We influence change by providing land-use simulation software and learning materials that allow users to learn about the impacts of our actions by:

  • Exploring our impacts on the economy and environment,
  • Discovering how we can learn from the past, Creating a sustainable land-use plan for our future,
  • Facilitating public consultation,
  • And by providing school programs and the tools to help all Albertans understand the consequences of our actions both virtually and in-person.

Our simulator, based on the professional version ALCES Online, used in both government and industry, uses cutting edge GIS mapping technology and the latest research by leading scientist to enable users to jump back to an earlier Alberta and then travel ahead to where we may be going based on current land-use trends and activities. This unique planning tool lets users design a plan for the future, then test it to see what kind of a future we’ll actually see!

The simulation tool exposes students to real life decisions and tradeoffs, while building environmentally mindful citizens of the future. Your support will help us maintain and improve the Alberta Tomorrow simulator, as well as create new modules and lessons plans to further educate Alberta's students.

In the coming years we aim to reach 250 000+ students!

Our COVID-19 Simulator

When COVID-19 hit Alberta in the spring of 2020, life for many Albertans changed. Life for our students in schools changed dramatically to an at home learning model. To help students understand the complexities of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we aim to create a COVID-19 Simulator that looks at the cumulative impact of our actions on the spread of the virus within Alberta. Modelled after Alberta Tomorrow's GIS technology and satellite imagery, the simulator will be able to model where in Alberta has higher risk of virus transmission based on Alberta data on income, diet, health, family size, etc. With the simulator, users will be able to pick a location to start the spread of the virus, choose the infection rate, and see how it spreads through locations of Alberta. By choosing which “beneficial management practices” to use, such as social distancing, working from home, etc, the tool can show how the spread of the virus is slowed. Recognizing that context is especially important for the simulator, videos and lesson plans will be created for teachers so that the appropriate context accompanies the simulator use.

The Alberta Tomorrow tool is a free, online tool made specifically for Alberta students and this module will provide another free, online tool to help students and the public understand the COVID-19 pandemic through an Albertan lens.

Indigenous Module

Understanding our past is key to planning for our future. For too long, information about Indigenous history has been either minimal or left out of our school curriculums. In conjunction with exploring the relationship our activities have with the land, we want to develop an Indigenous Module for Alberta Tomorrow's simulator tool.

This module would explore the relationship of Indigenous Peoples with the land including map overlays showing the traditional Indigenous territory names, distribution of people before and after treaties were signed and the reservation system was put into place, and interviews with Elders on significant places and/or landscapes within Alberta. Through the module, users would be introduced to Traditional Ecological Knowledge.

Lesson plans will be designed to guide students and teachers through the module as well as linking the Indigenous learning content to the rest of the Alberta Tomorrow simulation tool.

Module Features: 

  • Interviews with Elders

  • Map overlay with Indigenous territory names

  • Map overlay showing distribution of Indigenous people before and after treaties and reservations

Meet the Team

Jennifer Janzen

Jennifer Janzen

Executive Director

With over 28 years of experience in various roles including a high school science teacher, plant ecologist, and environmental educator, Jennifer is now Executive Director of Alberta Tomorrow, an Alberta non-profit dedicated to providing a platform that empowers youth to design and live sustainable futures for our shared ecosystems. When she’s not working, she can usually be found somewhere on the landscape with her husband and two daughters, exploring the amazing landscapes Alberta offers.
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Aug 13, 2020

Guardians of the Ice

Watch this video about the Guardians of the Ice.

To watch a webinar about Water Quality, Climate Change and Alberta’s Glaciers produced in collaboration with the Guardians of the Ice and recorded in June 2020, create an Alberta Tomorrow Account on the new simulator. The webinar can be found in the Videos Section.

Teachers can access a lesson plan to be used in conjunction with the webinar in the Teacher Resources.

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Aug 6, 2020
Project launched

FAQs

Who is this educational tool designed for?

Anyone! Anyone interested in finding the balance between our environmental and socio-economic needs! The tool is for the public, but also tailored to teachers and students in grades 4-12. (lesson plans and learning tools can be found on the site for specific grades/topics)

Is it fun to use?

Yes! You can earn points, go for high scores, complete quests and challenges!

Does it cost anything?

No! The tool is free for you to use! Just create and account and start exploring your area.

Is the educational simulator only for use in school?

No! anyone with an interest and an internet connection can register and create a user account!

What can I learn from using the simulator?

A lot! You can learn about: i. The fine balance between our land uses, the environment and economy, ii. How our landscape has changed in the past and might change in the future, iii. What needs to change to create a sustainable future for your area iv. How different climate change scenarios might affect our future environment and economy, v. What beneficial management practices we need to consider to find the balance between the environment and economy vi. How our glaciers, our drinking water sources, are being affected by climate change, vii. And much much more!

How does a virtual school visit work?

Via Zoom or Google Meets, our Executive Director will engage with your students either with the teacher in the classroom, or students joining in with either platform. Through engaging questions, Jennifer will introduce the concepts of cumulative effects in landuses and climate change, and walk your students through how to use the simulator.

Are there links to the Alberta Program of Studies?

Certainly! We have lesson plans linked to the Alberta Program of Studies from grades 4-11. Register for the simulator and view all lesson plans in our searchable teacher resources page.
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