School Programs & Resources

The Oil Sands Discovery Centre offers a full range of curriculum-based field trip experiences for Kindergarten through Grade 7. These programs are led by the Centre's knowledgeable staff and feature cool science experiments and engaging hands-on activities.

  • Programs are available Tuesday to Friday at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre. Mondays are available for booking after May 15.
  • Programs may be scheduled from 9:30 a.m. onwards.
  • All programs have a maximum of 30 students. This is to ensure the best quality educational experience.
  • Adult to student ratios for each program must be met in order for the program to run.
  • Programs must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance. All bookings are subject to availability.
  • Bookings for multiple classes may be available. These must be booked at least 1 month in advance and are subject to space and staff availability.

Cost: All programs cost $3 per student with a minimum charge for 10 students.

For more information, or to make a booking, please call or email the Discovery Centre.

Kindergarten - Grade 3

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Science Explorers (Kindergarten)

Children discover what scientists do and then explore the Exhibit Hall using our Discovery Hunt! Children will also make a craft to take home.

  • Total time: 60 minutes
  • Dates available: All year
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 5 students, minimum of 3 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Kindergarten

    • Environment and Community Awareness
    • Creative Expression
    • Early Numeracy

Bug World (Kindergarten)

What is it like to be an insect? Students will discover what it means to be an insect during the bug hunt, looking at insect homes, building a bug, and lots more “buggy” fun! This program has an outdoor component, so please ensure students are dressed appropriately.

  • Total time: 75 minutes
  • Dates available: May and June
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 5 students, minimum of 3 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Kindergarten

    • Environment and Community Awareness

Science 101 (Grade 1)

Students become scientists as they learn the basics by performing different science experiments.

  • Total time: 75 minutes
  • Dates available: All year
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 5 students, minimum of 3 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Grade 1 Science

    • Topic A: Creating Colour
    • Topic D: Senses

Floating Fun (Grade 2)

Students will discover buoyancy and boats by designing and testing their own boats, experimenting with air bubbles, and much more.

  • Total time: 75 minutes
  • Dates available: All year
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 5 students, minimum of 3 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Grade 2 Science

    • Topic B: Buoyancy and Boats

Junior Geologists (Grade 3)

Have you ever wondered how geologists discover information about the Earth? Through tests, experiments, and activities, students will learn how these scientists study rocks and minerals. Students will test for hardness, streak, calcite content, transparency, and use their observation skills to find out more about these pieces of the Earth.

  • Total time: 90 minutes
  • Dates available: All year
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 5 students, minimum of 3 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Grade 3 Science

    • Topic A: Rocks and Minerals

Super Structures (Grade 3)

Students discover important elements of structures through building, testing, and designing structures from different materials. Group projects include a newspaper tower and stick bridges.

  • Total time: 90 minutes
  • Dates available: All year
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 5 students, minimum of 3 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Grade 3 Science

    • Topic B: Building with a Variety of Materials
    • Topic C: Testing Materials and Designs

Grades 4-7

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Seashells to Sneakers (Grade 4)

Students experience the story of the Athabasca oil sands through discussions, games, and hands-on experiments.

  • Total time: 90 minutes
  • Dates available: All year
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 5 students, minimum of 3 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Grade 4 Social Studies

    • Topic 4.1: Alberta: A Sense of the Land

Mighty Machines (Grade 4)

Through demonstrations, discussion, and hands-on building activities with K'nex, students will discover how important simple machines are in their lives.

  • Total time: 90 minutes
  • Dates available: All year
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 5 students, minimum of 3 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Grade 4 Science

    • Topic B: Wheels and Levers
    • Topic C: Building Devices and Vehicles that Move

Kids' Chemistry (Grade 5)

Through discussion and fun experiments, students will discover the chemistry of everyday life. Students will create fountains of foam, non-Newtonian fluid (slime), and see a liquid change colour before their eyes.

  • Total time: 90 minutes
  • Dates available: All year
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 7 students, minimum of 2 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Grade 5 Science

    • Topic C: Classroom Chemistry

Discovery Centre Detectives (Grade 6)

Students work in groups to examine evidence collected from a crime scene. They will have to use several different investigation methods to solve this mystery!

  • Total time: 90 minutes
  • Dates available: All year
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 10 students, minimum of 2 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Grade 6 Science

    • Topic D: Evidence and Investigation

Forest Detectives (Grade 6)

Through discussions, games, and activities, students will discover the forest ecosystem, trees of the boreal forest, and what impacts humans have when developing the land. This program has an outdoor component, so please ensure students are dressed appropriately.

  • Total time: 90 minutes
  • Dates available: May and June
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 10 students, minimum of 2 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Grade 6 Science

    • Topic E: Trees and Forests

Up, Up, and Away! (Grade 6)

Students will explore concepts of air and aerodynamics through hands on activities and discussions. Projects include building gliders with simple controls (using Bernoulli's principle), parachutes, boomerangs, and helicopter wings.

  • Total time: 90 minutes
  • Dates available: All year
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 8 students, minimum of 3 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Grade 6 Science

    • Topic B: Flight

Planet Earth (Grade 7)

This program introduces students to the natural forces that shape the land and the different rocks and minerals that make up the planet. Through discussion, real samples of fossils and minerals, and hands-on science experiments about rock weathering and soil sampling, students will develop a better understanding of the Earth and its changes.

  • Total time: 90 minutes
  • Dates available: May and June
  • Adult to student ratio: 1 adult to 10 students, minimum of 2 adults required

Curriculum Connections

  • Grade 7 Science

    • Topic E: Planet Earth

Oil Sand Sample Kits

Can't make it to the Discovery Centre? You can order a sample kit to use in your own classroom!

Shipping quotes are available upon request. There is a $5 handling fee for Canadian orders, and $10 for American orders. We are only able to ship to Canada and the United States.

For more information, or to order a kit, please call the Centre at 780-743-7167 ext. 241, or email us at osdc.education@gov.ab.ca.

Please note that these kits are designed as educational resources. We cannot guarantee their suitability for commercial or industrial use.

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Oil Sand Sample Kit

This kit contains one ounce samples each of oil sand, bitumen, petroleum coke, and tailings sand.

Cost: $15 plus shipping and handling.

Small Oil Sand Resource Kit

The Small Oil Sand Resource Kit contains 6 ounce samples each of oil sand, bitumen, petroleum coke, and tailings sand. It also includes a flash drive with various oil sand resources, including instructions for an extraction demonstration and 2 short videos about the Alberta Oil Sands. The small resource kit includes enough oil sand for 1 extraction demonstration.

Cost: $30 plus shipping and handling.

Large Oil Sand Resource Kit

The Large Oil Sand Resource Kit contains 16 ounce samples each of oil sand, bitumen, petroleum coke, and tailings sand. It also includes a flash drive with various oil sand resources, including instructions for an extraction demonstration and 2 short videos about the Alberta Oil Sands. The large resource kit includes enough oil sand for 2 extraction demonstrations.

Cost: $40 plus shipping and handling.

Contact
Education Programs
  780-743-7167 ext. 241