An Integrated and Experiential Education Program

Learning with your hands, head, and heart.



     The Da Vinci Arts and Science Community and Environmental Leadership Program is a unique, 4-credit-interdisciplinary program which explores art and science through hands-on, experiential learning at the J.C. Taylor Nature Centre in the arboretum at the University of Guelph.  The Da Vinci Program is a great alternative to a standard grade 11 semester.  Each year, students selected from all schools within the school board  obtain the following academic credits: Indigenous Literature (NBE 3U) , Biology (SBI 3U) , Introduction to Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology (HSP 3U) and Exploring and Creating in the Arts (AEA 3O). On top of these credits, the program also takes them on various field trips in the community, to Killarney Provincial Park for a five day canoe trip, to Toronto to take in museums and galleries, as well as to many labs and other resources on the University of Guelph campus and in the city of Guelph.


     An important aspect of the program is The Eco Artists Program, a leadership program that allows the students to develop teaching skills in teaching grade fours. Interested students should be open to exploring issues related to social and environmental justice, passionate, flexible, creative, able to handle unique situations, like children, and be able to work well independently.


The Da Vinci experience is an amazing catalyst for growth, self-exploration, and for

deeper engagement with our local and global communities.


 Thank you to The Gosling Foundation for their many contributions to this program.












And a huge thank you to Sue Hubner, the founding visionary of this program.



This course offers students the opportunity to explore connections between dance, drama, media arts, music, and/or visual arts. Students will use the creative process individually and/or collaboratively to produce integrated art works that draw on various disciplines, and they will critically analyse art works and determine how interpreting these works affects their own development. Students will develop responsible practices that are transferable beyond the classroom. They will explore solutions to integrated arts challenges and discover that art is everywhere, influencing and reflecting society.

 Prerequisite: Any Grade 9 or 10 arts course (dance, drama, media arts, visual arts, or music)





This course emphasizes the development of literacy, critical thinking, and communication skills through the study of works in English by Aboriginal writers. Through the analysis of literary texts and media works, students will develop an appreciation of the wealth and complexity of Aboriginal writing. Students will also conduct research and analyse the information gathered; write persuasive and literary essays; and analyse the relationship between media forms and audiences. An important focus will be the further development of students’ understanding of English-language usage and conventions.

Prerequisite: English, Grade 10, Academic







This course introduces the theories, questions, and issues that are the major concerns of anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Students will develop an understanding of the way social scientists approach the topics they study and the research methods they employ. Students will experience practical applications of the course such as developmental psychology while leading the elementary EcoArtist Program.  Students will be given opportunities to explore theories from a variety of perspectives and to become familiar with current thinking on a range of issues that have captured the interest of classical and contemporary social scientists in the three disciplines.

Prerequisite: None






This course furthers students' understanding of the processes involved in biological systems. Students will study cellular functions, genetic continuity, internal systems and regulation, the diversity of living things, and the anatomy, growth, and functions of plants.  Students will have the opportunity to further their scientific knowledge with various trips to the University labs, with workshops and guest lectures.  The students will have the opportunity to use the University of Guelph library to develop research skills. As well, students will develop a practical application of the understanding of nature and the diversity of life while learning about the plants and animals around the Nature Centre.  The course focuses on the theoretical aspects of the topics under study, and helps students refine skills related to scientific investigation.  Students will be well prepared to pursue the grade 12 University biology.

Prerequisite: Science, Grade 10, Academic

The Four Credits Integrated Into One Program