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Rexall Place Transforms to Interactive Classroom

by Andrea Goss / Edmonton Oilers
For many, Rexall Place is where friends and family gather on game nights to enjoy some arena fare and watch the Oilers take on their NHL rivals. For a group of Grade 9 math students however, the building transformed into an interactive educational experience on Thursday morning.

Students from FR Haythorne Junior High School were invited to leave the confines of their classroom for a few hours and uproot to the arena where they were able to learn the practical applications of math in the Rexall Place business world.

“We’re going around Rexall Place to six different stations,” said FR Haythorne student, Harry Dowdall. “We’re seeing how much the food industry makes, how the catwalk works, how many gallons of water it takes to make the ice, what the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) does for charities around Northern Alberta and we’re heading the Oilers Store next.”

Each station featured a presenter that talked about the mechanics of their respective jobs followed by a question period. The students learned about the retail business of Game on Sports, the science and quality control behind maintaining the ice, the ratios of successful fundraising models with the EOCF, the cost of materials versus their value in online auctions, the stats of the catwalk and the calculations behind concession sales.

“I think it’s a great eye opener for the students,” said Nathan Richuk, presenter and General Manager of Dominion Sport Services. “I think most people when they first come here, their first impression of the concession operation is always the price, so we can begin to show the students how our menu engineering is affected by cost of goods sold, payroll and rent that goes back to the Oilers and Northlands. I think they leave with a much better understanding.”

While this was a unique, one-time opportunity for FR Haythorne students, Rexall Place is a breeding ground for education on a weekly basis. The Edmonton Oilers ICE School brings students from Grades 2-6 to Rexall Place to engage in a week of learner-led, hands-on, inquiry-based learning and exploration through tours, journaling, and a host of creative activities.

Located on level four, the ICE School classroom serves as a springboard for a week of reading, writing, observing, interviewing and calculating in the classroom, the arena and in other fascinating places around Northlands Park. The ICE School classroom is one of the Inquiring Minds sites in Edmonton allowing students to bring a real world understanding to many of the things they study during the year.

For the 2011-12 school year, 24 teachers and their classes were selected from Edmonton and surrounding areas. For more information on ICE School and applying for the 2012-13 school year, please visit
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