Greg Shea

Teachers rocked out during geology lesson in Oak Bay

Newfound knowledge will likely be rolled into teachers’ school lesson plans in the coming semesters

What do the large rocks on the shore of Cattle Point have in common with Hawaii?

They were both created over millions of years by volcanic activity in roughly the same area, said Geological Survey of Canada geoscientist Malaika Ulmi.

Ulmi, along with retired geologist Jane Wynne, led about 20 Victoria-area teachers on a one-day, five-stop excursion to learn about the natural history in the area. Knowledge gained from the field trip will be passed on to students, ranging from elementary to high school.

“These gneiss rocks were created 370 million years ago,” Ulmi said told the group last Friday. “It crashed into North America 200 million years ago, which is what you see here.”

Wynne said the rocks were part of an old island ark, a type of archipelago often composed of a chain of volcanoes created by magma and tectonic plates sliding over each other. Many of the rocks have iron in them, she said, using a geology swing pen magnet to demonstrate it.

Retired school teacher Greg Shea attended the field trip along with his partner, who is a teacher. Shea said geology is both important and interesting for students to learn.

“These are some of the oldest rock formations on the island,” he said. “Geology tells you the history of the island, where did the island come from and where the sand came from. It wasn’t just put here by the municipality.”

Other sites visited included the Pacific Geoscience Centre, Cordova Bay Beach, Island View Beach and Beach Drive in Sidney.

The tour coincided with National Science and Technology Week, which promotes science to youth across the country.

reporter@vicnews.com