Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) and Let’s Talk Science are proud to announce the release of four new classroom marine science kits available free of charge to K-9 teachers across Canada.
ONC’s K-12 Ocean Science Activity Developer, Monika Pelz, has compiled three new learning packages, each tailored to a different age group, to update current Lets Talk Science classroom kits. These include “Budding Biologist“ for Grades K-3; “Wonders of Weather” for Grades 4-6; and “Tectonic Rocks" for Grades 7-9. All of them explore their respective topics through a marine science lens.
The fourth kit, entitled “Budding Marine Biologist,” was created especially for Grades K-3 and may be an introduction to the world of ocean science for many young students.
“Working with Ocean Networks Canada has been a great experience,” said Susie Taylor, Special Programs Coordinator with Let’s Talk Science. “Being able to incorporate their knowledge and research in our activities introduces the children and youth to real-time applications to what they are learning. I am excited to see the results as more and more educators across Canada take part in Let’s Talk Science using these activities.”
“We’re always thrilled to inject more ocean science into Canada’s science curriculum,” said Natasha Ewing, ONC’s K-12 Education Coordinator. “This opportunity to partner with Let's Talk Science and develop ocean science activities for their kits is a fantastic way to encourage students across the country to explore ocean science in engaging ways”.
Early testing of the kits is already generating positive feedback. One Grade 6/7 student noted that the activities were “hands-on AND fun!”
With the release of these kits, teachers can now ask Let’s Talk Science volunteers to bring more marine science into their classroom free of charge through the Let’s Talk Science Outreach program.
How did these two key players meet?
Ocean Networks Canada began working with Let’s Talk Science following a symposium on climate change hosted at the University of Victoria in 2011, Since then, ONC and Let’s Talk Science have collaborated to organize two ocean science symposia, create four new marine science kits, and contribute content to the Let’s Talk Science Challenge (formerly known as the All Science Challenge) study book, an event offered to Grades 6-8 students through Let’s Talk Science. This partnership has prompted students to consider marine science and technology as a future field of study.
Let’s Talk Science is a national, charitable organization with Let’s Talk Science Outreach locations at 40 universities and colleges across Canada. With more than 3,300 volunteers, and a growing number of industry partners, the free-of-charge outreach program engages youth in a wide variety of meaningful STEM learning experiences in schools and community settings.
What’s in each marine science kit and how do I get them?
Kits consist of activities, materials and a facilitator’s guide for exploring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts—all within a marine theme. Here are some activities from each of the new kits:
- Budding Biologist (Grades K-3)
- Exploring animal adaptations. Students choose from activities that highlight how marine animals are adapted for life in the sea or life on land.
- Budding Marine Biologist (Grades K-3)
- Exploring how animals are adapted for life in the marine environment: compare fins to feet, build your own sea creature, and talk like a whale. Students receive a special certificate of completion.
- Wonders of Weather (Grades 4-6)
- The ocean is the planet’s biggest weather influence. In this kit students explore the question “What is an El Nino?” and even try their hand at understanding some “historical” climate data to understand that weather is a dynamic phenomenon.
- Tectonic Rocks (Grades 7-9)
- So what does the bottom of the sea floor really look like? Use images and video collected from real dives to see the sea floor, and then build your own landscape and map it! What tectonic features will you discover?
Let’s Talk Science volunteers visit thousands of classrooms across Canada each year, and use the materials to enhance classroom-learning opportunities for all students.