MEDFORD, Mass. -- On Monday, November 28, as part of the Boston Bruins I.C.E. (I Can Excel) Program, B's goaltender Tuukka Rask helped teach a geography lesson on his native Finland to fifth graders at the Brooks Elementary School in Medford.
“It’s really small," began Rask, who pointed out his home on the projector screen map. "This is Finland.”
Brooks Elementary School teacher Eleanor O’Leary also gave her class some basic info about the country and then, with Rask's input, quizzed her students about the weather and landscape of Finland.
The teacher also drew a circle on the map and pointed out that Rask works in Boston but is from Europe. While illustrating the point on the map, she also asked, “How would Tuukka get from Finland to Boston?”
The class excitingly blurted out answers.
“By plane!” said several students. "A boat!” said others. Even Rask chimed in to say, “You've got to swim across the ocean!”
It was all part of the fun of The Boston Bruins I.C.E. School program, presented by AT&T, which serves to provide Kindergarten through 6th grade teachers in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont with supplemental curriculum materials incorporating the sport of hockey and the Bruins into lesson plans that align with the common core standards.
I.C.E. School curriculum materials consist of numerous supplemental lesson plans for every grade level including French, geography, math, ELA, physical education and science.
After Rask's geography lesson on Finland, the class got a chance to ask individual questions of the goaltender such as what the weather is like and the number one sport in Finland.
Rask answered, “It’s cold in the winters and the summers it’s like Boston, but not as humid.” As for the number one sport, Rask smiled a wide grin and responded, “Hockey is the number one in Finland by a lot.”
After the questions, the class got a chance to have Rask sign the posters, hats, and shirts they had brought in to class. The students waited patiently as Rask walked around to each desk autographing, although they could barely contain all the excitement.
Cole from Medford commented that seeing Rask today was “really awesome.”
“I haven’t really met anybody on the Bruins yet and hockey is my favorite sport."
Chances are good that after Tuukka's appearance many of Cole's classmates will say the same.
After the class, O’Leary said that Rask’s appearance was “fabulous.”
“He was informative. I think the kids learned a lot," explained the teacher. "I love the program - love the I.C.E.
"I think it definitely it covers every aspect of what we’re learning, which is great.”