EcoLinks Day 1 Workshops

Friday, May 5, Ball’s Falls Conservation Area, Lincoln ON

Alphabetical listing of workshops.  Click on title to be taken to its description.

Amazing Amphibians
Jill Walters-Klamer | Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority | Primary-Junior | Indoors and Outdoors

Changing How We Think About Environmental Education
Cathy Scragg | Durham District School Board | Junior-Intermediate-Senior | Indoor

Exploring the Impacts of Fashion’s Global Supply Chain Through Image and Inquiry
Sarah Peel and Kelly Drennan | Fashion Takes Action | Junior-Intermediate-Senior-General Interest / Personal Development | Indoor

Feeding the Future : Growing School Gardens & Seed Libraries
Jacob Kearey-Moreland | Toronto Seed Library / The Seed Library Commons | Primary-Junior-Intermediate-Senior-General Interest / Personal Development | Outdoor

How Many Shoes In Your Part of The World?
Astrid Steele | Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University | Intermediate-Senior-General Interest / Personal Development | Indoor

Hydroponics In The Classroom
Natalie Boustead | Foodshare | Primary-Junior-Intermediate-Senior-General Interest / Personal Development | Indoor

Monitoring and Stewardship for Empowered Environmental Learning
Holly Brose | EcoSpark | Intermediate-Senior | Indoor & Outdoor

Trees & Citizen Science
Mike McMillan | Association for Canadian Educational Resources (ACER) | Primary-Junior-Intermediate-Senior-General Interest / Personal Development | Outdoor

Wonder of Worms and Simplicity of Sprouts
Cathy Nesbitt | Cathy’s Crawly Composters | Primary-Junior-Intermediate-Senior | Indoor


Amazing Amphibians

Jill Walters-Klamer | Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority | Primary-Junior | Indoors and Outdoors

Presenter Bio

Jill Walters-Klamer has been working as an outdoor educator at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority for over 5 years. She has a background in education, and a love of nature.

Workshop Description

How do you make amphibians exploration tactile, while protecting the amphibians that live at your site? Come and join us as we explore the world of amphibians and the tools that we use to ensure safety for amphibians, as well as our young explorers.

Exploring the Impacts of Fashion’s Global Supply Chain Through Image and Inquiry

Sarah Peel and Kelly Drennan | Fashion Takes Action | Junior-Intermediate-Senior-General Interest / Personal Development | Indoor

Presenter Bio

Sarah Peel is the Program Director at Fashion Takes Action, a Canadian non-profit dedicated to sustainability in the fashion industry. FTA works to raise awareness and create change through business and consumer education. Sarah manages FTA’s grade 4-12 classroom program, My Clothes, My World, developing curriculum, facilitating in the classroom, and training FTA’s team of educators. She is a graduate of OISE with a BEd in global education, as well as a BES from the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University.

Workshop Description

Apparel is the World’s 2nd most polluting industry after oil. So it’s important environmental educators understand it and can guide critical thinking on the topic! In this activity, using a series of photographs, group collaboration, and questions that stimulate critical thinking, participants will unravel the complicated supply chain that brings fast fashion to their favourite stores at the mall. Participants are also able to place themselves in the life cycle of a garment and to understand their role as consumers and potential leaders for a more sustainable and just World. This activity mirrors one used in the ‘My Clothes, My World’ program, and is equally engaging for elementary and secondary students.

Hydroponics In The Classroom

Natalie Boustead | Foodshare | Primary-Junior-Intermediate-Senior-General Interest / Personal Development | Indoor

Presenter Bio

Natalie Boustead is a Foodshare Field-to-Table Schools educator and Ontario Certified Teacher. She has spent the past 6 years as a community garden coordinator and environmental educator in Toronto, and is excited to share her knowledge of how to be an engaged and impactful environmental educator.

Workshop Description

Join Natalie Boustead from Foodshare Toronto as she demonstrates one of Foodshare’s latest in-classroom projects, hydroponic growing towers. You’ll learn about how to set up your own hydroponics tower for your classroom, office, or home, as well as some educational resources and lesson plans. Hydroponics is an amazing way to engage with growing your own food regardless of the season, making it an amazing educational tool for Canadian classrooms.

Trees & Citizen Science

Mike McMillan | Association for Canadian Educational Resources (ACER) | Primary-Junior-Intermediate-Senior-General Interest / Personal Development | Outdoor

Presenter Bio

Mike McMillan has a B.Sc. in Environmental Studies and a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Western Ontario and has over 5 years of experience working for education-based charities. Since joining ACER in 2015, Mike has experienced the benefits of working with community groups outdoors to improve our connection to nature and to one another. Mike loves trees and enjoys sharing that passion with others.

Workshop Description

Learn how to introduce your students to topics of climate change, math, and science through planting, measuring and/or reporting data on trees in your schoolyard or community. We’ll create a quick DIY device for measuring the “diameter at breast height” of a tree. Then we’ll go on a hike through the woods to share our collective tree ID tips and tricks and to measure a tree.  We will also discuss how you can get your students involved in ACER’s Citizen Science training program where they will be able to earn Mozilla Open Badges for activities such as identifying trees and reporting growth and health data. The training platform is based on Participatory Action Research (PAR) in which citizen scientists are concurrently acquiring knowledge, participating in hands-on stewardship, and conducting research. The program is being funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and is set to launch in the spring of 2017.

How Many Shoes In Your Part of The World?

Astrid Steele | Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University | Intermediate-Senior-General Interest / Personal Development | Indoor

Presenter Bio

Astrid Steele is an Associate Professor in the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University. Prior to her academic post, she was a teacher in both the elementary and secondary panels, as well as adult education, and youth at risk in outdoor education settings. At Nipissing University she teaches science education and provides environmental education opportunities for teacher candidates. Her research interests include science teacher education and development, environmental education, STEM and STSE education curriculum integration and pedagogical documentation. Her current projects focus on the teacher work of embedding environmental education within curriculum, and a comparative analysis of teacher education in Canada and Egypt.

Workshop Description

This workshop tackles issues of social and environmental justice. Participants will enrich their understandings of consumer practices around the world. Working on a floor-sized map of the world, we will interactively explore how well different populations around the world meet their needs and wants. An engaging activity that will get your students thinking in terms of global citizenship.

Monitoring and Stewardship for Empowered Environmental Learning

Holly Brose | EcoSpark | Intermediate-Senior | Indoor & Outdoor

Presenter Bio

Holly has a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry which she uses with her Bachelor of Education to run the Changing Currents program at EcoSpark. It is not a surprise that she likes to work outside as her parents had already taken her camping on three different continents before she was ten!

Workshop Description

EcoSpark is teaming up with Credit Valley Conservation to bring complete environmental learning opportunities to students in Peel. Learn about how to use benthic macro invertebrates as an indicator of stream environment health with your class, and how student stewardship can solidify learning and a sense of empowerment. These outcomes are the objective of the new partnership which combines EcoSpark’s Changing Currents program (facilitated student water monitoring) with Credit Valley Conservation’s Branch Out program (facilitated student stewardship) to create a learning experience that transforms your class into environmental stewards and scientists.

Wonder of Worms and Simplicity of Sprouts

Cathy Nesbitt | Cathy’s Crawly Composters | Primary-Junior-Intermediate-Senior | Indoor

Presenter Bio

Cathy Nesbitt is a worm advocate and founder of Cathy’s Crawly Composters. Established in 2002 this environmental business specializes in vermicomposting and organic diversion. She has been involved in numerous collection/composting research projects and diverted several tonnes from landfill.  Through inspirational story telling and an incredible sense of humour, Cathy has raised the level of awareness about environmental conservation. Her thought-provoking style of speaking inspires individuals to take action and do something. Over 75,000 students have seen her presentation! She has been featured in a variety of media including print, television and radio. Cathy is an award-winning local innovator recognized as an eminent Canadian environmentalist and vermicomposting expert.  Now trained as a Laughter Yoga Teacher, Cathy’s presentations are not only engaging and informative, they are more fun than ever!

Workshop Description

Worms in the classroom offer a tremendous cross-curricular learning opportunity. Learn all about worms and vermicomposting – a viable solution for anywhere not being served by an organic collection program or access to outdoor composting. Discover how worms convert organic matter into nature’s finest soil amendment known as castings. Feed the soil, not the plant. Vermicomposting is shown from set-up to harvest. Worm eggs, castings and worm bins in various stages are displayed. Worms are going to play an ever-increasing role in waste management, soil production and therefore food security.  Sprouts are considered nature’s superfood. Learn how to grow sprouts in the classroom in 24 hours. Sprouts contain fibre, protein, vitamins, minerals. They are hydrating, alkalizing, regenerative, biogenic and contain up to 100 times more enzymes than raw vegetables. Adding sprouts to your life adds life to your life. Imagine a classroom full of students getting nourished, not just fed.  Worms for amending the soil and sprouts for eating are going to help solve world hunger. Find out how during the interactive session.

Changing How We Think About Environmental Education

Cathy Scragg | Durham District School Board | Junior-Intermediate-Senior | Indoor

Presenter Bio

For over 20 years I have been teaching at Durham District School Board, mostly grade 7/8 science. Prior to this I taught in various outdoor ed centres ( Duffin’s Creek EEC, Nonquon EEC, Durham Forest EEC, and Tommy Thompson Park). For the past 2 years I returned to Durham Forest EEC as a Facilitator. I have also been very involved in STEM initiatives in our board, including this year’s Future City competition. I have thought long and hard about the state of the environment, and how to get the next generations excited about engineering a new wave of technology to help.

Workshop Description

In this session we will look at STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and its role in environmental education. How do we engineer a new generation of creative thinkers, who will look at our climate issues with new (and hopeful) eyes? Change is in the air, and teachers have the power to guide it in the right direction.

Feeding the Future : Growing School Gardens & Seed Libraries

Jacob Kearey-Moreland | Toronto Seed Library / The Seed Library Commons | Primary-Junior-Intermediate-Senior-General Interest / Personal Development | Outdoor

Presenter Bio

Jacob Kearey-Moreland is a lifelong gardener – as a baby on a balcony in Toronto, to a toddler in the garden on the family farm in Oro-Medonte, near Orillia Ontario growing food is always on his mind. As a founder of the Orillia Community Gardens, and co-founder of the Toronto Seed Library, Jacob is knowledgeable about the diverse opportunities and challenges with growing school gardens and seed libraries, among other community food growing initiatives. In addition Jacob is a writer, public speaker, musician, policy person and former non-affiliated “Cooperative Interdependent” candidate for parliament. He believes growing good food, while saving and sharing seeds is critical to the regeneration of the commons necessary for human and other life to thrive on Earth.

Workshop Description

Growing, saving and sharing seeds is critical to the regeneration of our ecosystems, biological and cultural diversity, as well as promoting holistic health, food security and sovereignty. Learn from a passionate and inspired People’s Gardener about the growing agri-cultural revolution happening in school yards and backyards across the world. Glean insights into starting, growing and sustaining your community food growing initiative in your school and other living spaces. Learn the basics of seed starting, seed saving and seed sharing through school gardens and seed libraries and how to define and ensure a successful long term project. Bring your seeds, questions and experiences to share as we grow and learn together in SOILidarity.