Frequently Asked Questions

Let us answer some of your questions! Don’t hesitate to reach out at  780-421-1497 with any questions.


Do Inside Education programs connect to the curriculum?

Yes! Our programs are designed to link to specific learner outcomes within the Alberta Program of Studies. Our team of educators includes certified teachers that ensure that our programs remain curriculum relevant in all topic areas.

I am from outside of Alberta, can I request a program?

Inside Education has a provincial mandate, however we do occasionally offer programs to schools in Northeast British Columbia and Saskatchewan. We have brought teachers from across Canada to participate in our teacher professional development programs.

You can access all of our learning resources from anywhere in the world.

Inside Education Health and Safety Measures

Online Programs: To ensure the safety and well being of participants during Inside Education Virtual events, all participants must review and abide by the following code of conduct. This code of conduct applies to any student, teacher, guest speaker, program partner or Inside Education staff member attending a virtual event hosted by Inside Education.

COVID Protocols: Inside Education puts the health and safety of our participants and our staff above all else. Regarding Covid-19, Inside Education follows all current public health mandates outlined by the Province of Alberta, and applies the following measures to reduce spread of Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses:

  • Hand sanitizer is made available at all programs.
  • Inside Education staff are encouraged to stay at home when feeling unwell.
  • Rapid test kits are available for Inside Education staff to use at their discretion.

In-person Programs: We are committed to ensuring a safe environment for all program participants.

Emergency Contacts: The supervising teacher from each school will provide a contact cell phone number and be accessible throughout the program.

  • Inside Education – 1-888-421-1497. The program staff will make their cell phone available on the first day of the program.
  • In the event of an emergency please contact 9-1-1

Program staff: Inside Education program staff each have up-to-date standard first aid and CPR certifications and have passed a criminal records background check. There will be a first aid kit accessible by program staff and others at all times. Inside Education staff will be recognizable by wearing Inside Education garments.

Travel Considerations:

  • Travel to and from the summit is the responsibility of the school. 
  • Check the road report1-877-AMA-HWYS (1-877-262-4997) and adjust your driving to the road conditions.
  • Carry a cell phone.
  • Carry an emergency kit including blankets, shovel, booster cables, snacks, and water.
  • Carry a current map and stay on main roadways.
  • Ensure someone knows your route; tell them when you plan to arrive and check in when you get there.
  • Ensure your vehicle is in good repair and has had a safety inspection
  • Free time during events: Any activities will be at the discretion of the supervising teacher(s).
  • Behaviour expectations: Program delegates are representing their schools and communities, and are expected to maintain the standards of behaviour set forth by their school and their supervising teacher(s). Delegates will be further expected to adhere to all school division policies with respect to the use of alcohol and drugs.

Does Inside Education work with my school district?

Inside Education has worked with most school districts across Alberta, and several across Canada as well! We work with over 20,000 students each year through our programming as well as hundreds of teachers participating in our teacher professional development programs.

We have a current master agreement with the Calgary Board of Education and a partnership agreement with Rockyview Public Schools. Our programs are offered at no cost and as such we do not require a vendor agreement with most school districts. 

If your school or administration requires proof of insurance, criminal records verification, or other documents before your program, please don’t hesitate to reach out and our team is happy to provide the necessary documentation or information.

Field Trips

How do I access the busing subsidy?


Busing subsidies are applicable to Cooking Lake, Des Crossley, Boreal Wetland Centre, Huestis, Jumpingpound, Three Herons, Wood Buffalo forest programs and certain wetlands programs.

A busing subsidy is available for some of our forest and wetlands programs. The subsidy is made available by our program partners on an annual basis and schools must invoice Inside Education directly upon completion of the program. Please refer to your teacher’s guide or inquire directly with the Inside Education staff booking your program to see if your school qualifies!

I’ve submitted a request, when will I hear if I will get my requested date?

We book our programs a minimum of one month in advance. For September programming, you can expect to hear from us in June. We collect requests throughout the year, but will notify you when a program is full on our website.

It says it’s no-cost…what’s the catch?

There isn’t one. Inside Education along with our partners believe in experiential education and providing outdoor learning opportunities for all students. Our programs are offered at no-cost. Schools are responsible for booking and paying for busing, however we offer a busing subsidy.

What is expected of me as the teacher?

Your biggest role is to learn together with your students. We hope that you get just as much out of the day as they do! But there are a few other roles you’ll have too…

  • Communicator - Read through the teacher’s guide and communicate pertinent information to students, administration and parent volunteers.
  • Liaison - Submit your online confirmation form and let Inside Education know if there are any changes.
  • Traffic Controller  - Book the buses, ensure you have a parent follow vehicle, print the map so you know where you’re going.
  • Safety Team Captain - Inside Education is your safety team, who can respond and assist in case of emergency. But you know your students best, have access to their emergency contacts and have responsibility to follow all of your schools safety protocols.
  • Translator - Help your students make the most of the day by reflecting and incorporating the experience back to your classroom learning objectives.

How can I best prepare for the day?

What should my students bring?

Smiles, enthusiasm, questions and most important appropriate clothing and footwear. Download the field study packing checklist for students.

How can I best prepare my students for the day?

Ensuring students are prepared to spend the day outside and emphasizing that the field site will be the classroom for the day; all your typical classroom expectations should be maintained.

If you want to extend the learning into your classroom, check out Inside Education’s full suite of classroom learning materials for a hands-on introduction to some of the topics covered on our field programs. 

For forest field trips our "It’s Our Forest" video series is great for both pre/post trips!

What should I tell the bus driver?

Our field sites are accessible by school bus. At some sites the bus may be required to travel a short distance on well-maintained gravel roads. Due to safety requirements the bus is required to stay on site during the entire duration of the field program and/or schools must have a follow vehicle on site.

  • If your driver has any concerns they can call the Inside Education office directly - 1-888-421-1497

Maps and directions can also be found in the teacher’s guide provided prior to the field program.

Boreal Wetland Centre: Grande Prairie & Area Program - Google Maps link

View Boreal Wetland Centre Map

Bunchberry Meadows: Edmonton and Area Field Program - Google Maps link


Cooking Lake: Edmonton and Area Field Program - Google Maps link

View Cooking Lake Map

Des Crossley Demonstration Forest: Red Deer and Area Field Program - Google Maps link

View Des Crossley Map

Huestis Demonstration Forest: Whitecourt & Area Field Program - Google Maps link

View Huestis Map

Jumpingpound Demonstration Forest: Calgary and Area - Google Maps link

*note this site does not have cell service, please print a map.

View Jumpingpound Map

Wood Buffalo Forest Field Program: Fort McMurray and Area - Google Maps link

View Gregoire Lake Map

Three Herons Conservation Site: Calgary and Area - Google Maps link 

***IMPORTANT*** - Follow printed map directions, not Google Maps directions (Google Maps directions will take you through a fjord with high water)

View Three Herons Map 

What about parent volunteers?

A field program is an excellent opportunity to get parents involved and learn alongside students. Inside Education has found that having parent volunteers helps make the day run smoothly. During our field programs we divide the students into small working groups of 4-8 students and we recommend 1 parent volunteer per small group.

For Division 2, we recommend 1 parent volunteer per small working group. For Division 3 and 4, we recommend having at minimum a couple adults per class. If you know your class needs more support, you are welcome to bring more adult volunteers.  

What is the cancellation policy?

Inside Education field programs run rain or shine, with the exception of hazardous conditions, or risks that threaten the safety of participants. Cancellation, rescheduling or program modifications will be discussed between Inside Education and the school. Efforts will be made to reschedule the program to another mutually-agreeable date, though this cannot be guaranteed. Field programs cancelled due to hazardous conditions will not be charged a cancellation fee.

If you are unsure of program conditions on the date of your field trip - contact the Inside Education Office at 1-888-421-1497.

Field trips may be cancelled or rescheduled where possible with a minimum of 14 days notice. Cancellations with less than 14 days prior to the scheduled field trip date will be charged a $150 cancellation fee. This fee will be invoiced to the school and payable within one month of the cancellation date. This cancellation fee reflects partial cost recovery for staff, time and resources that cannot be recuperated.

Safety and Risk Management

Inside Education values safe program delivery above all else. Inside Education strives to provide a high-quality learning experience in a safe environment. No Inside Education program will put any staff member, participating student, teacher, or anyone at risk. With this, Inside Education may modify or cancel a program without notice if site conditions threaten the safety of the staff, students, teachers and/or parent volunteers.

Risk Management
Safety of all program participants is of primary concern to Inside Education. As such, the following risk management measures are in place:

  • Inside Education field program staff have current first aid and carry first aid kits including a list of emergency contact numbers. Staff also carry air horns and/or bear spray as wildlife deterrents.
  • Staff carries cell phones/radios/spot receivers to ensure a link EMS in the event of an emergency. Radios and cell phones will be checked each day to ensure working condition.
  • Teachers are asked to inform Inside Education staff, prior to field trip, of any safety concerns and special needs - i.e. allergies, epi-pens, behaviour etc.
  • Students instructed on “safety in numbers” to avoid wildlife conflicts.
  • We suggest 4-6 parent supervisors per class of 30 and emphasize the importance of parent volunteers for safety and supervision in communications with the schools.
  • Field trips are cancelled in the event of poor driving conditions and severe weather/environmental conditions
  • Forest field trip participants wear high-visibility vests.
  • Inside Education field program staff perform seasonal and daily site assessments.
  • Students are never to leave supervision of an adult, and must always travel in pairs or groups.
  • Program signage is placed where required to notify the public of education programming and children in the area.
  • Trail maintenance is coordinated annually with program partners.
  • Inside Education field program staff are trained in emergency procedures, and conduct annual emergency training drills; each permanent field site has an emergency action plan.
  • Inside Education requires the bus to remain on-site and/or schools must provide a follow vehicle as an emergency contingency vehicle.
  • Inside Education reserves the right to modify or cancel a program without notice if, for any reason, site or travel conditions threaten the safety of participants.

What weather/outdoor conditions would result in the cancellation of a field trip?

Conditions that are unsafe for students, teachers or staff result in the cancellation of a field trip. These conditions are evaluated on the morning of the field program, at which point Inside Education staff will evaluate safety risk and contact the school to inform of the decision. Unsafe conditions include:

  • Air Quality - Inside Education use the provincial AQHI along with observed local conditions to determine air quality risk. If AQHI is 7 or more on the day of your program, we will contact the school to discuss options for alternate programming.
  • Other inclement weather (eg. high wind, heavy hail, weather resulting in unsafe driving conditions among others). Inside Education staff will work with you to evaluate the risks associated with weather conditions.

If you have concerns about the weather conditions on the morning of your program, please contact your field site coordinator, or the main office: 780-421-1497.

Rain and cold weather are not considered unsafe conditions! We run programs rain or shine, and expect schools to prepare for the weather conditions appropriately (see the section on preparing for your field program).

Please review our cancellation policy for more details. 

Teacher Professional Development

How does the supply teacher subsidy work?

It’s easy! Inside Education understands that supply teachers cost money and we don’t want that to limit your ability to attend our programs, therefore on most programs we can offer a supply teacher subsidy.

You can review a copy of our standard supply teacher policy: 

Supply Teacher & Travel Subsidy Policy

Is it fun?

Yes! As with all of Inside Education’s programs, we pride ourselves on our ’fun-professional’ approach. With this, we believe that learning occurs at its best when it is enjoyable. Our teacher professional development programs often include fun education activities, recreational opportunities and chances to just sit back and relax with fellow teachers.

Who can apply?

All classroom teachers are invited to apply. The programs are designed to enhance curriculum for multiple grade levels and subject areas. Please note that some tours may specify that applicants must teach in a certain region. Also, for some programs, Inside Education also sees value in extending a limited number of positions to members of the non-formal education community (e.g., stewardship groups, interpreters, education specialists, academia) as well as pre-service teachers (i.e., student teachers).

I’m not a science teacher, can I still apply?

Of course! As teachers have shown us, there are many curriculum connections that can be made and while our programs are curriculum relevant they are typically not meant to be ’workshops’ on one specific topic. Inside Education also believes that teachers -- all teachers -- should have a strong understanding and appreciation for our valuable natural resources and environment.

What can I expect?

You can expect to learn and experience more about our natural resources and environment than you can ever imagine! We believe these truly are the best ’field trips for teachers’ out there. Traveling as a group, you will be exposed to key people, important places, and multiple perspectives that you may otherwise not have the chance to experience. You will get the ’big picture’ and be able to share it with your students.

You can also certainly expect friendly staff, knowledgeable and excited speakers, fun activities, good food, and comfortable travel and accommodations. They are full programs with plenty to see and do, but there will also be some time to collect your thoughts, and visit with your new friends.

I’m not that familiar with this topic area, is it for me?

Definitely! Inside Education’s Teacher PD programs are designed to take teachers from a very basic knowledge level and make them ’experts’ in their school on that given topic. Our friendly, and welcoming approach helps participants to feel at ease and lessen that uncomfortable feeling of "I’m the only one here who doesn’t know this stuff." After all, that’s why we’re having these programs in the first place!

How do I apply?

Simply click on the Apply Online button on each tour’s webpage and fill out our simple online form. You will hear from us regarding the status of your application shortly after the application deadline.

Is it really all-expenses-paid? What’s the catch?

There is no catch! All group accommodations, meals, travel, and tours that occur during the program are covered. (From time to time travel subsidies are also available for remote northern teachers, please contact us for more information). Inside Education has approached a number of partners that see great value in educating teachers about the complex relationship between our natural resources, society, economy, and environment. In-kind support is also key to enriching the experience of the teachers. Together, these partners have made it possible for teachers to experience a high-quality learning experience at no cost.

Do I need to attend the whole program?

Yes. These programs are designed to tell the ’whole story’ with each presentation building on the last, so complete participation from start to finish is mandatory. Also, the group will travel as a group which makes it difficult for participants to join or leave the group during the program.

Do I need to be in top physical shape to attend?

Not necessarily. Our programs are a balance of indoor and outdoor sessions, discussions, tours and activities and are not intended to be large physical undertakings such as a 3-day hike or canoe trip. However, there are some program elements that are physical in nature (e.g., raft floats, short hikes into the forest, periods of standing, changes in terrain). Should you be accepted, prior to the program we will ask you to let us know of any mobility issues you have so that you may be as comfortable as possible.

Can I apply with a colleague?

Yes, you may encourage a colleague to apply. We can’t always promise that you will both be accepted but it is helpful for us if you indicate on your online application form if someone you know is also applying.

What about the accommodations

Inside Education accommodations are single occupancy or same gender, double occupancy. If you know someone else attending the program and you would like to room with them we do our very best to make it happen. 

Inside Education does all our program bookings so you don’t need to worry about booking accommodations unless you are travel before or after the program start/end dates. 

Finally, we often get asked about bringing family or friends that are not attending the program, the simple answer is no. We want to ensure you get the most out of this experience and have the time to network and reflect.

I don’t live near the program start location, can I still attend?

Of course and we hope that you do! Visiting new and exciting landscapes is an important part of the professional development experience. Teacher participants are responsible for getting to and from the program start location. Inside Education may also put teachers coming from similar places in touch to encourage carpooling.

If you are from Northeast British Columbia we can also help off set travel costs to the program start location! Teachers from school districts 57, 59, 60 and 81 are eligible for a $500 subsidy that can be put towards flights, mileage or other travel costs.

Northeast BC Teachers Travel Policy

What should I bring with me?

Get our recommendations by downloading our list.

Suggested Packing List For PD Tours

How do I get in touch with Inside Education after the program has started?

You can reach the main Inside Education office at 1-888-421-1497 and they can connect you with the team that is leading the program. If it is outside of regular office hours please call or text Kathryn Wagner - 403-803-8881.

How do you select your participants?

Applications are reviewed following the posted application deadline. Applicants are not considered on a first come first serve basis. We put great value into hearing ’why’ participants want to come and how they hope to make use of the experience. Also, many elements may also be considered when selecting applicants and can vary from tour to tour, but we typically aim for a balance of participants (e.g.,  geographic representation, past participation, first-time applicant, teaching situation, grade level, etc.)

Youth Summits

All of Inside Education’s youth summits aim to provide experiential education to Alberta students. With 13 years of experience delivering award-winning summits, we want to ensure you and your students enjoy a safe, memorable and educational event. Below are some of the FAQ’s to help you in preparing for a great experience. Please don’t hesitate to contact Inside Education by email or phone 780-421-1497 regarding any of any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing your application for our next summit, held annually in March!

What are youth education summits?

Inside Education Youth Summits are 1/2 day - 4 day experiential learning events for junior and senior high school students (and teachers). They are designed to explore natural resource and environmental topics including water, energy, careers, climate change and more! Each program will encourage you and your students to think critically about development in the province while considering your role as citizens. You will also be provided with tools and inspiration to take action in your own school and community.

What will we be doing during the program?

The talented team at Inside Education works hard to put together a program that features hands-on experiential learning, multiple perspectives, and relevant content. Although each program is a little different you can expect a mixture of presentations, workshops, networking time and tours!

What can I look forward to?

Inside Education ensures a welcoming and fun learning environment. We hope you will be inspired by the people, places and perspectives that are shared on the program. As they say, a picture says a thousand words so we encourage you to check out our Generate/Navigate 2023 Wrap Up Reel to gain a sense of the experience on our most recent provincial-scale youth summit.

Is it really all-expenses-paid? That sounds too good to be true!

Both students and teachers will receive a full scholarship to attend. Registration, accommodations, meals, program transportation and tours are all covered.

Please note: schools are responsible for getting themselves to and from the start location.

What about covering my classes while I’m gone?

If necessary, each attending teacher may apply for a maximum $150 subsidy per program day toward the cost of a substitute teacher. It is the responsibility of the school to make substitute teacher arrangements. Please review Inside Education’s Subsidy Policy for more details.

What is expected of teachers during the event?

Your main role is to help students make the most of their experience and learn alongside them. The lead teacher will be the primary connection to Inside Education. The students will be under your supervision and are ultimately your responsibility.  There is no need to worry because we have a jam-packed program to keep them busy. Of course, safety is a priority. Check out the safety section below for more details. 

What steps have been taken to ensure student safety during the program?

We are committed to ensuring a safe environment for all program participants.

Emergency Contacts:

  • The supervising teacher from each school will provide a contact cell phone number and be accessible throughout the program.
  • In the event of an emergency please contact 9-1-1

Program Staff:

  • Inside Education program staff each have current standard first aid and CPR certification, and have passed a criminal records background check. There will be a first aid kit accessible by program staff and others at all time. Inside Education staff will be recognizable throughout the summit.

Travel Considerations:

  • Travel to and from the summit is the responsibility of the school. 
  • Check the road report and adjust your driving to the road conditions.
  • Carry an emergency kit including blankets, shovel, booster cables, snacks, and water.
  • Carry a current map and stay on main roadways.
  • Ensure someone knows your route; tell them when you plan to arrive and check in when you get there.
  • Ensure your vehicle is in good repair and has had a safety inspection.

Other Considerations:

  • Free time: Any activities or use of hotel facilities will be at the discretion of the supervising teacher(s).
  • Rooming: For those programs that include overnight accommodation, Inside Education reserves a block of rooms at the hotel. Student rooms will be assigned, with your help, based on double occupancy. Your confirmation form will include the necessary fields for rooming lists. Teachers stay on their own or with another teacher.
  • Behaviour expectations: Program delegates are representing their schools and communities, and are expected to maintain the standards of behaviour set forth by their school and their supervising teacher(s). Delegates will be further expected to adhere to all school division policies.

Where will we be staying during the program?

Program delegates that are from the area will be returning home at the end of each program day, unless otherwise specified.

Some of our multi-day youth summits include overnight accommodations, and those will be provided by Inside Education and our partners.

What should I bring?


  • Small bag or backpack 
  • Casual clothes (best to be comfortable!)
  • Warm outdoor gear (mitts, layers, toque) - just in case
  • Close-toed shoes for site tours
  • Water bottle
  • Pencil and a notebook
  • Personal items (medications, etc.)
  • Overnight gear if required

How old must students be to attend?

Students must be 14 or older to attend our overnight provincial-scale youth summits.

Do I need two teachers or can I bring a parent chaperone?

Ideally, both adults are teachers, administrators, or staff from the school. We curate activities for educators as part of the summit. In special cases, a parent or other adult chaperone may attend but they are expected to participate in the full program. 

Environmental Innovation Days

What are Environmental Innovation Days?

Environmental Innovation Days are 1-day, no-cost field trips for junior and senior high school students to explore innovations, technology and careers in various natural resource fields. These field trips provide students with hands-on experiences that allow them to dig into what’s being done to mitigate climate change and to empower them to find their own role in Alberta’s natural resource future.

There are four different categories of Energy Innovation Days:

  • Energy Innovation Day - explore key themes including renewable and alternative energy, Alberta’s path to net-zero, energy efficiency and conservation, green buildings, sustainable transportation
  • Regional Agriculture Day - visit working agriculture facilities to gain a better understanding of what goes into growing our food, the innovations and technologies that are making the sector more sustainable and the varied careers in the field.
  • Women in Outdoor Careers - explore career opportunities for women and those who are gender non-conforming in various natural resource sectors including wildlife, water, energy, forestry and more!
  • Water Innovation Day - dive into the research and careers in water quality monitoring, aquatic ecosystem assessments, wastewater treatment and more

During an Environmental Innovation Day, you can expect an Inside Education educator to be your guide as you travel to various locations to hear from experts in the field, participate in in-person tours and to experience the topic through hands-on activities. Students will also participate in a facilitated workshop that leads them through a reflection of their day and of their own place in the conversation and action.

Who can apply?

This program is open to junior and senior high schools unless otherwise specified.
Schools can apply as a full class or as a smaller group (environment club etc.).
Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and schools will be notified of their acceptance at least 1 month prior to the program start date.

Our school isn’t located in one of the program communities, can we still apply?

Yes you are welcome to apply and we have a limited number of travel subsidies to help your school attend. 

If you live outside of one of the communities but would like to discuss options for traveling to the program location or having an environmental innovation day in your community please put in a request for the program you are interested in, or email [email protected].

Is it really all-expenses paid, including the bus?

Yes! We want to make experiential energy education accessible to everyone.

Subsidy Policy

What should we bring?

Once you are accepted to a program, you will receive a program-specific Teacher’s Guide which will outline the schedule and activities that your program will include. The Teacher’s Guide will also include a packing list with any program-specific requirements. To get an idea of how to prepare for an Environmental Innovation Day, a general packing list can be found by clicking the button below:


Inside Education’s work brings us to all corners of the province, as such, we acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples in the area currently known as Alberta. The relationship the Peoples of Treaty 6, Treaty 7, and Treaty 8 and Alberta’s Métis Peoples have with the land is founded on a deep respect for the environment. This connection forms the foundation of our personal responsibility for stewardship of the environment, a connection Inside Education strives to foster among students and teachers through our diverse programming. Inside Education is a registered charity #101894319RR0001

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