Delview Secondary teacher Mark Turpin (left) with students Brett Gerak and Emma Andrews, two of the authors answering heady questions in The March of Humanity. (Saša Lakić photo)

Delview Secondary teacher Mark Turpin (left) with students Brett Gerak and Emma Andrews, two of the authors answering heady questions in The March of Humanity. (Saša Lakić photo)

Students at North Delta’s Delview Secondary ponder humanity in new book

The Grade 10s sought to answer existential questions on being Canadian and tech’s impact on society

In The March of Humanity, Delview Secondary students tackle questions that have beguiled the thinking ape for millennia.

As part of their Innovation 10 course — an amalgamation of social studies, English and science — the Grade 10 students published a book discussing where humanity comes from, where it is right now and where it is potentially headed. They tried to find insight on heady questions regarding existentialism, religion and technology’s impacts on society, as well as morality and Canadian identity.

In his essay, student Darius Hermkens couldn’t definitively answer how it is people arrive at the values they hold and live by. Still, he found that family, religion, friends and culture all have an impact on what values people develop over the course of their lives.

“The most consistent answer I found was religion and family, but at the same time it’s kind of contradicting because you’re going against one thing [and] to another,” Hermkens told the Reporter. “Altogether, it’s who you’re close with and what you believe in that will create how you think and what’s important to you.”

The March of Humanity can be purchased on Amazon for $4.75. (North Delta Reporter staff photo)

Emma Andrews said she learned a lot about people by tackling the question, “What makes us human?” She came back with a number of answers that ranged from the basic physical differences between humans and other animals, to the humaneness people exhibit (or don’t) regarding the morality of scientific testing on animals, which has led to humans living longer lives largely free of disease and illness.

But, she said, there can also be a religious factor to the issue.

“[Religion] kind of sends you on a path, and in a religion there can be restrictions,” Andrews said. “Those restrictions give you a path that you need to follow.”

SEE ALSO: North Delta science students say so long poster board, hello arcade machines

Brett Gerak wrote about far people should take gene editing. The subject centres around relatively new technology that uses clustered regularly inter-spaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR) to essentially “edit” the makeup of DNA strands by removing and replacing nucleotides, making CRISPR an unprecedented tool in medical research.

“This technology could possibly do things like increase our muscle density, give us thicker hair, immunity to genetic diseases … but [it] has yet to be used effectively on a grown adult,” Gerak wrote in his piece.

To the Reporter, he noted, “there is debate if only the wealthy were able to use it because it would obviously cost money. And if people would use it to make what a lot of people say are ‘designer babies,’ I think that would be too far.”

Mark Turpin, an English teacher who oversaw much of the editing process of the book, said the process of publishing something with the students taught him to trust the kids in seeking out information and educating themselves.

“A lot of what we did is flip the classroom,” Turpin explained. “Instead of providing them the content and telling them, ‘we’re going to learn this, this and this,’ you flip that and say, ‘what do you want to learn?’ and be the facilitator and support that learning.”

Science and IT teacher Jonathan Kung said publishing the book was also a lesson for the students in undertaking more extensive research, which included seeking out and interviewing experts and academically citing their sources for the answers on their respective topics.

“Nobody’s done it before really and we wanted to find something that would be authentic, that would kind of allow them to combine all the different curricula,” Kung said. “It’s really quite interesting from the perspective of these teenagers who are still trying to form their opinions on a lot of these things. None of them were experts at this, a lot of them did a lot of research in order to figure out where they stood on these issues.”

Kung said the course will be back for the next batch of Grade 10s and, depending on what questions the students come up with, the concept may change too.

The March of Humanity can be purchased on Amazon.

SEE ALSO: North Delta high school to host outdoor program for at-risk youth



sasha.lakic@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
SURREY NOW & THEN: Little Theatre’s 59-year history ends with big plans for move to Langley

A former church, the theatre building/property has sold for close to $900,000

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Locke seeks breakdown on what Surreyites get for taxes paid to Metro Vancouver

Surrey councillor aims to present motion to council tonight (Monday, June 14) asking city staff to do a cost/benefit analysis

Surrey council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council to consider ‘public engagement’ strategies tonight

Council asked to endorse ‘Public Engagement Strategy and Toolkit,’ and a ‘Big Vision, Bold Moves’ transportation public engagement plan

Old trucks are seen in the yard at the B.C. Vintage Truck Museum in Cloverdale June 14, 2021. The Museum is reopening June 19 after a seven-month COVID closure. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale’s truck museum to reopen

B.C. Vintage Truck Museum set to open its doors June 19

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council to consider $7.3 million contract for street paving projects tonight

A city staff report recommends Lafarge Canada Inc. be awarded $7,326,667.95 for 15 road projects in North Surrey and one in South Surrey

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read