BC Tomorrow – Engaging Technology for Investigating Sustainability in BC


BC Tomorrow seriously examines Humanities relationship with Planet Earth by addressing societies understanding of the three pillars of sustainable development: environment, economy and human activity. As populations grow and resource demands increase, land use pressures will continue to increase. Adapting to climate change is becoming increasingly important. Is the landscape unlimited in its ability to function as more human activity occurs? Can humanity do whatever they want, wherever they want and expect our natural systems to maintain their ability to provide the goods and services many parts of our economy, society and environment depend on for future generations?


Our free, online project give students the opportunity to use real data to address real issues in their own watersheds, regions and communities. Students can see for themselves how human activity impacts planet earth by examining the impacts our activities have had on their own regions, communities and watersheds. The main driver of BC Tomorrow is our innovative and engaging land use simulator. With cutting-edge GIS map technology, the simulator is a little like a time machine. Students look back in the past to watch how the landscape has changed. Then they move to the future to see how the land could look if we keep doing what we are doing. Then they apply their learning, adjust the levers, and see how their own ideas and solutions could potentially impact the future. Our approach is to put the tools into students’ hands and give them the opportunity to learn, share, solve problems and come up with solutions to address local issues. Applicable at multiple grades and with an ability to be incorporated from multiple perspectives, our learning tools are powerful. BC focused, instructional videos and the ability to include field observations are important elements of our project. In this session, teachers will watch a short presentation and then be shown how to use, access and adapt BC Tomorrow. Teachers will have time to practice with the simulator and teacher friendly lesson templates. A cohost will be available to help with questions. A pre-recording is available for teachers to review and follow-up webinars and teacher support will be available.


Several elements of BC’s redesigned curriculum are addressed when educators use BC Tomorrow with their students:

a)     Core Competencies: Communication, Critical and Creative thinking and Personal Responsibility as users observe, share and offer solutions for a sustainable future.

b)     Inquiry Based learning - The simulator allows people to learn about human/environment interactions. Then, they set goals (inquire), make plans based on their learning, run scenarios in an attempt to achieve their goals, and use the indicators to help evaluate the results. They then have the opportunity to either adjust their goals or adapt their plans. Plans can take many different approaches such as: advocates for a particular sector, group plans, balanced/sustainable plans, or plans arrived by consensus and forwarded to the community via students/class initiatives.

c)     First Peoples Principles of Learning – Our project is consistent with elements of First Nations Principles of learning. With the simulator, students are able to observe for themselves the interconnectedness of natural systems as they examine the past and consider the future as part of their decision-making process. The simulator uses a holistic set of unbiased indicators while also accounting for cumulative effects to help students evaluate the results of their scenarios and plans.

d)     Human-Nature relationships - BC Tomorrow uses socio-economic and environmental indicators to measure the impact of human activities on the land.

e)     Project based learning - BC Tomorrow can be the anchor for projects that focus on human, economic, and environmental interactions on the land. The learning tools are suitable for elementary, middle and high school social studies and science classes (while also incorporating math, communications, collaboration and their own values). The holistic, interconnected perspectives provide learners with an ability to apply their learning from multiple subject areas and from multiple perspectives at multiple grade levels. Teacher friendly lesson templates and Quests to extend learning are available as students accumulate points. 




Target Audience

Upper Elementary, Middle School, Junior and Senior High Educators

To Bring/Important Notes

Please download and open "The BC Tomorrow Simulator" document. With the document and prior to the workshop, please go to www.bctomorrow.ca launch the simulator, create an account, and run at least one scenario in a watershed. Thank you.



W09 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

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  • Dave Ramsay


    Dave Ramsay is an experienced BC Science Educator. While developing Watershed Sustainability curriculum, he discovered Alberta Tomorrow's powerful three-part learning project. In collaboration with the Board of Directors, business and educator colleagues, Dave has been developing BC Tomorrow for use in BC’s Education system. BC Tomorrow’s learning tools are powerful. Learners incorporate multiple curricular and core competencies while interactively investigating issues as they use real data to address real issues regarding the sustainability of their own communities, watersheds and regions.