Are you and your children stuck-at-home? You don’t have to leave your couch to immerse yourself in the exciting world of sharks, whales, and cod. Ocean School, a partnership between the National Film Board of Canada, the Ocean Frontier Institute, and Dalhousie University, provides free online educational resources in English and French about ocean science.
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Ocean School has created a learn from home feature that gives free access to some of their most popular learning activities. The week-long modules feature a daily educational video and a corresponding student activity to help students stuck at home learn about the marine environment. In order to participate in the program, you need a tablet or computer with internet access.
The Ocean School learning modules connect to grade 6 to 9 science, mathematics, social studies, and language arts curriculums, but “it’s very easily adaptable to different ages,” says Lucija Prelovec, communication specialist and science producer with Ocean School. The learning modules are built to support inquiry-based learning, where students are encouraged to take a leading role in their education by asking questions and finding answers on their own.
Students can watch high-definition videos, try interactive activities, and augmented and virtual experiences on the Learn from Home site. “I’m a fan of the interactive experiences,” says Prelovec, highlighting one called bay watch. In the activity, students control the activities of a Prince Edward Island farmer and an oyster aquaculture farmer to learn how different decisions impact the health of the surrounding marine environment.
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If you’re looking to go beyond Canadian ocean science, Ocean School’s newest weekly module, called Marine Migration, connects students to the wider world of ocean science. The lessons feature migratory species like hammerhead sharks and green sea turtles in Costa Rica.
Whether you’re in landlocked Saskatchewan or downtown Toronto, it’s worth diving into the Ocean School’s lessons, Prelovec says, “we’re always connected to the ocean, no matter where we are…Canada has the longest coastline in the world, and we are bordered by three separate oceans.”
We can breathe easier thanks to marine photosynthesizers like algae, which produce over half of the world’s oxygen, says Prelovec. And regardless of what province you call home in Canada, litter and other pollutants from your area can travel long distances and impact the health of the oceans.