FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 7, 2014
VICTORIA, BC. - Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), an initiative of the University of Victoria, has teamed up with BC Girl Guides to introduce girls and young women from age 5 to 18 to the wonders of the ocean beneath the surface and to inspire their natural curiosity in marine sciences.
Regardless of where we live, the ocean affects us in ways we may not realize—from the food we eat, to the weather we experience. The Ocean Aware Provincial Challenge is a series of fun, science-based activities designed to encourage Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers to think about how the ocean influences us, and how we influence the ocean.
A Provincial Challenge is an additional and elective Girl Guide resource that reflects the unique interests of girls across the country. Currently there are 30 challenge crests offered through the BC Girl Guides program.
Girls explore the seven principles of Ocean Literacy to complete the Ocean Aware Challenge. Some of the activities include: making a glowing deep-sea fish, creating an ocean circulation ‘water cake,’ trying to hear like a whale, conducting science experiments and completing numerous service and imagination challenges. When completed each girl will be presented with an Ocean Aware Challenge crest, a colourful patch she can sew onto her camp hat or blanket.
The new BC Girl Guides patch
Information about participating in this challenge can be found through the BC Girl Guides or ONC’s learning pages.
“We’re so excited to be engaging so many girls and young women in ocean science, as well as Canadian marine technology,” said Maia Hoeberechts, Associate Director, User Services at ONC. “This challenge will also help create a growing awareness of all the aspects of marine technology, while reaching out to young people who will be the decision-makers of the future.”
South Vancouver Island Girl Guides Area Commissioner, Sharon Doty is delighted to have a new challenge within Guiding that has started on the west coast and focuses on the marine environment. “I am hoping that all of our girls, from Sparks to Rangers, take this opportunity to learn more about the ocean habitats around us,” she said. “By doing the Ocean Aware Challenge they’ll be educating themselves on the wonders of the ocean, from the seashore to life on the seafloor.”
"We’re thrilled to add Ocean Literacy to our Provincial Challenges,” adds Julie Thomson of the BC Program Committee. “The Ocean Aware Challenge is the first of its kind in Canada, and it invites Girl Guides to learn about the ocean and participate in fun marine science activities, regardless of where they live.”
“Our goal was to bring the ocean to everyone, not just girls who have the ocean on their doorstep,” adds ONC Education Coordinator and Guide leader, Monika Pelz, who worked on developing the activities. “These games, crafts and experiments make it possible for anyone to learn more about the ocean environment, no matter what your age.”