ACES 10: Achievement Challenge Environment Service
All interested students from across the Yukon are encouraged to apply to ACES 10. Students will not only receive an unforgettable educational experience, but gain 16 credits which can be used towards graduation.
ACES 10 is an integrated academic and outdoor semester with a flexible schedule that includes the following credits:
Science 10 (4 credits)
Social Studies 10 (4 credits) - including a close study of the Residential School unit
Physical Education 10 (4 credits)
Outdoor Pursuits 10 (4 credits)
* ~ The outdoor and physical education portion of this course is about student's building confidence and responsibility for themselves through learning and practicing skills and knowledge. No outdoor experience is necessary, however for the safety of the group, students must be willing to bring a positive attitude and a minimum level of fitness. The ACES program is a comfortable atmosphere which supports and appreciates students from various backgrounds.
*~ Specialized equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, outdoor stoves, skis, snowshoes, canoes can/will be provided through Wood Street Centre. Touring bikes can be rented for the bike trip training and trip.
Is ACES for you?
Do you like being in the outdoors?
Do you enjoy a challenge?
Do you want to explore the beauty and history of the Yukon and Alaska...by snowshoeing, skiing, paddling, cycling, and camping at historic and remote locations?
Do want to learn science and social studies hands-on?
(This is what we call experiential education!)
Do you like projects and problem solving?
Do you want to work as part of a team, and gain leadership skills?
Do you want to be active and increase your fitness?
Do you want to learn outdoor and survival skills?
Do you want to make lifelong connections with your peers?
Do you want to have fun?
Put yourself in the picture!
Typical ACES week:
There is much research to support the idea that people, youth especially, perform better in school when their brains and bodies are stimulated through physical activity. Students will be challenged by the coursework expected in the classroom and beyond, however they will be rewarded with healthy, active time with their peers outdoors. Students in ACES can expect to be active at least 2-3 times a week doing activities such as: snowshoeing, XC skiing, tele-mark skiing, broom-ball, ice fishing, rock climbing, hiking, skating/soccer/basketball etc. at the Canada Games Centre, or preparing for extended trips by practicing cycling or canoeing.
ACES Extended Outdoor Trips:
ACES requires students to make a significant personal commitment since experiences take place in remote settings for extended periods. During these outings, students support and are supported by their peers and teacher in learning about themselves and the natural and cultural environments.
There are generally five outdoor trips per ACES semester:
Snowshoe journey and winter camping skills intro trip (3 days)
Students pull their own sled (pulk) with personal equipment through the beautiful Yukon landscape while cooking their own prepared meals, and being introduced to winter camping and environmental ethics such as Leave No Trace.
Winter survival skills trip (3-4 days)
Students practice survival skills such as building their own snow and bush shelters, practicing bush craft, fire building skills, ropes and knot skills and identifying tracks
Astronomy, mountain weather, snow science, avalanche terrain and hazard recognition topics will also be covered
Students will also cross-country ski in a remote setting
Yukon-Alaska bike trip (8 days)
Students cycle tour 450 km from Haines Junction, Yukon, through the extraordinary Haines Pass to Haines, Alaska, embark on the ferry to Skagway, Alaska and have a well-deserved rest day, then ride up and over the historic White Pass back to Whitehorse, Yukon.
Students will carry their day essentials on their panniers on their bikes, however a support vehicle and trailer will carry their tents and other supplies.
Many aspects of the Science 10 and Social Studies 10 curriculum can be experienced hands-on, such as moving through the contrasting climates and ecosystems as we peddle towards the Pacific Coast, follow traditional First Nation trade routes and visit historic FN villages, and ride parallel to the Chilkoot Trail where the stampeders in 1898 started their long trek and search for gold, which led to the formation of the Yukon territory.
Takhini River moving water skills canoe trip (1-2 days)
Students will be introduced to canoeing and canoe equipment.
Students will have the opportunity to learn moving water canoe skills such as basic and advanced canoe strokes, paddling rapids, ferrying, river reading, as well river rescue skills and risk management.
Trip # 5
Yukon River canoe trip to Dawson City (6-7 days)
Students will paddle approximately 400 km of the Yukon River to Dawson City
Leadership skills put into practice - decision-making such as: river and weather reading and choosing suitable locations for lunch and overnight camp, navigation and map reading, and leading the group in activities around the campfire
Science and Social Studies learning outcomes will again be covered
Students will paddle to and spend the night at the remote Fort Selkirk at the confluence of the Pelly and Yukon Rivers. Fort Selkirk is an amazingly preserved Hudson Bay trading post established in 1848 by Robert Campbell, yet archaeological evidence shows the Selkirk First Nation has been there for over 8,000 years.
In Dawson City, students will be invited to explore historic sites with excellent guides to learn the history of the Yukon Gold Rush, the impacts on First Nations people and how the city and people flourishes today.