Know Your Greats, Be the Change
Students from nine of our schools are participating in an experiential learning opportunity involving the Great Lakes and Microplastics.
This opportunity provides problem and inquiry-based learning with in-the-field and virtual experiences. There are many aspects of this project that involve local community partners with expertise in plastic pollution, water and waste management, health, biodiversity, manufacturing, numeracy, literacy, career exploration, student voice and community outreach opportunities.
Students ranging from grade 3 to 7 are participating in various opportunities both in school, and “in-the-field”.
Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation and Jenn Pate from Love Your Greats, recently introduced students to the local microplastics issue in our rivers and lakes. Bluewater Recycling Association is assisting the 9 schools on refining practice in “Refusing, Reducing, Reusing and Recycling”. The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority, Maitland Valley Conservation Authority and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority are teaching students about our local watershed (streams, rivers, lakes) and how our daily actions impact our most prized resource, The Great Lakes.
Some schools are translating classroom learning into community action through Yellow Fish Road. Students are learning how household waste and other pollutants enter local watersheds, affecting the natural environment, humans and wildlife. Students then educate the community by placing flyers on doors explaining why they have painted yellow fish next to their community storm drains. Some of the classes are visiting their local water and wastewater treatment plants to further explore the cycle of water from creating clean drinking water to managing waste. Finally, all of the students will either connect virtually with The Pinery Provincial Park or go to The Pinery to explore our local microplastics issue, local species at risk, as well as, dune development and protection with the Pinery Naturalists’ staff.
Through these in-the-field experiences, students are learning how their daily behaviour and habits are affecting their community, natural habitats, rivers, and their beloved Great Lakes. This interactive project provides student voice and action in educating residents, industry, retail, and tourism on making their community a healthy and safe place to live.