Education program | Port of Vancouver

Education program

Connecting students to the world

Port of Vancouver Discovery Centre Free Field TripAs Canada’s largest port, the Port of Vancouver plays a significant role in Canada’s economy and in enabling the country’s trade objectives. The port is Canada’s western gateway to over 170 trading countries around the world and handles the most diverse range of cargo of any port in North America. Understanding how trade impacts our country is important, which is why we offer a specialized education program specifically designed to support grade four to six students curriculum guidelines, as outlined by the British Columbia Ministry of Education. Please see our Curriculum Connections-MOE.

Through this program, students will learn about Canada’s largest and most diversified port through activities that encourage:

  • hands-on learning through doing, touching, watching, hearing and reading
  • activities that promote reflection, inquiry, critical thinking and creativity
  • individual and group communication through actions, words and pictures

Designed to build on students’ awareness of the importance of trade in our lives and the role of the Port of Vancouver in facilitating trade, this program covers:

  • what a port is
  • the five business sectors at the port
  • imports, exports and international trade
  • what makes our port a sustainable one

We offer three options for our grade four to six educational field trip experience:

We also offer a self guided field trip experience with pre-recorded sessions and activities in French. To learn more, please visit the French education page.

To learn more about the education program, please contact our community outreach coordinator by filling out our contact us form. In the dropdown for nature of feedback, choose school program and education. You may also call 604.665.9038.

Additional resources

Virtual harbour tour: Burrard Inlet

Experience the sights and sounds of a busy harbour while learning about Canada’s largest and most diversified port. Get an up-close look at port operations in the Burrard Inlet and learn some interesting facts about living in a port city with our virtual harbour tour.

Download the Port of Vancouver community map to follow along during the tour!

Duration: 20 minutes

Virtual harbour tour: Fraser River

Experience a virtual harbour tour of the Fraser River, the longest and most iconic river in the province, and a vital waterway in the Port of Vancouver.

Download the Port of Vancouver community map to follow along during the tour!

Duration: 13 minutes

Other related resources
Minerals Education – learning resources
Vancouver Maritime Museum – #VMM Online Tools
Fraser River Discovery Centre – FRDC@HOME!
North Vancouver Museum and Archives – online programs
Buster Bear Adventures – videos suitable for younger grades
Part 1
“Go West, Young Bear, A Buster Bear Adventure”, Captain Nemo sends Buster on a quest around Vancouver… Buster
learns about First Nations settlements in the area, and the history of Moodyville, and its famous mill…”

Part 2
In this next episode in Buster Bear’s Vancouver quest, Steve Adore fills Buster in on the importance of containers to
shipping, and how the first containers EVER were shipped from North Vancouver… Buster gets a bird’s-eye “bearspective”
on Burrard Inlet, and all the amazing things that move through the port each year…”

Reviews and feedback

“Thank you so much for your presentation and to the port authority for providing a free educational field trip. The students and I were engaged and learned more about the port in an entertaining format. The hands-on activities, that included the map puzzle, the load-the-carrier race, and touchscreen assignment, enhanced their understanding. They were also moving their legs that broke up the sit-and-listen period. The students can now explain to their peers and parents the sights and sound that encircle the Burrard Inlet and the other coasts of Metro Vancouver. The presentation thrilled us!”

“Awesome program that provides a memorable day full of learning- thank you!”

“The program was well run and well paced. The students enjoyed the program and everyone (including myself and the parent volunteers) learned a lot about the port and the activities that happen there. I look forward to taking future classes to this program.”

“I was so impressed with this program. Been teaching 25 years and I have to say it was one of the most organized, clearly laid out and interesting field trips I’ve been on.”

Discovery Centre-Education Presentation-page 1
Discovery Centre- kids-2
Discovery Centre-benches
Discovery Centre-presentation-1
Discovery Centre-kids-benches