A group of Lower Mainland kinesiology students caught in a massive earthquake in China are giving blood today to contribute to the relief effort.

Chris Bertram, a professor at the University College of the Fraser Valley (UFV) who is chaperoning the students, said, “sitting and waiting isn’t helping anyone.”

“My hope is that contributing to the relief effort will give us a sense of power in a situation that has led us all to feel quite powerless,” he wrote in a blog posted on the school’s website.

Bertram had just arrived in Chengdu with 10 students for a summer semester program at Sichuan Normal University when a 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck the area on Monday.

As many as 12,000 people have died.

Bertram said the students are on edge because of tremors, which have had them bolting outside every few hours.

They’ve devised a system to foreshadow aftershocks by placing glasses of water around the room and watching for ripples.

“It has become a bit of a joke among us now how much time we spend staring at water,” he said.

Greg Anderson, head of kinesiology and physical education at UFV, said the Chengdu campus hopes to resume classes today.

“We’ve had nobody that really wants to come home. They’re still excited about gaining the experience,” Anderson said.

“Should they want to come home we would arrange that for them.”