GORE BAY—Charles C. McLean Public School has won $25,000 in new technology from Staples Canada as part of an annual contest that recognizes inspiring projects Canadian schools implement in support of the environment. They were one of 10 schools chosen from more than 700 applications submitted in the Staples Superpower your School Contest, organized in partnership with Earth Day Canada.
Located in Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island, Charles C. McLean Public School is raising chinook salmon for release into the North Channel of Lake Huron. A microhatchery was set up in the Grade 4/5 class last year in partnership with the Gore Bay Fish and Game Club.
Grade 4/5 teacher Heather Jefkins, along with the students, will create a YouTube Channel and website to livestream the microhatchery so everyone can follow the chinook salmon journey. The project not only supports the local fishery, it also teaches students important lessons about conservation, habitat preservation, and the impact humans have on the environment.
The funding will enable Charles C. McLean Public School to purchase an underwater camera to livestream; an iPad tripod for video productions; 25 iPads to document photos/videos, create presentations for YouTube, and use Facetime to work with experts in fish hatchery programs; and 25 Chromebooks for website design, social media and blogging.
Rainbow District School Board Chair, Doreen Dewar, and Director of Education, Norm Blaseg, thanked Staples Canada and Earth Day Canada for supporting innovation.
“Students and staff will benefit immensely from the learning opportunity being made possible with this new technology,” said Chair Doreen Dewar. “They will be able to share their learning with others around the globe.”
“The microhatchery at Charles C. McLean Public School is a wonderful example of 21st Century learning and teaching in action,” added Director Blaseg. “The project fosters collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity and co-operation.”
“Schools are doing absolutely amazing things across the country,” said Mary Sagat, president of Staples Canada. “Our team of judges was thoroughly impressed by the creativity of applicants. We’re excited to see how the new technology will help further their programs and we encourage every school in Canada to prepare their projects for the 2018 contest.”
“From micro-hatcheries to dronography, the projects we read about in this year’s submissions were truly innovative and went far beyond traditional stewardship activities,” said Deb Doncaster, president of Earth Day Canada. “All of the winning schools should feel incredibly proud of their accomplishments.”
Charles C. McLean Public School is a leader in sustainability. In addition to the microhatchery, the school has implemented a number of environmental projects from flower and vegetable gardens, to recycling and composting programs, to tree plantings, to shoreline clean-ups, to adopting a polar bear, to installing a refillable water bottle station.
“We are most grateful to Staples Canada and Earth Day Canada for enabling us to expand our learning,” said Principal Tracey Chapman. “We look forward to sharing our journey in real time.”