STAO – Science Teacher’s Association of Ontario

The mission of STAO to encourage excellence in science education.  STAO will help you be on the cutting edge of innovation and social media networking. There are many opportunities to be connected with the science education community through social media, following STAO on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

How Recycling Works

Join SciShow as we explore what happens to your stuff after you toss it into the little green bin with the arrows on it.

How this Town Produces no Trash

One New York woman is making an effort to change the way we think about waste. Over the past two years, Lauren Singer has produced only enough trash to fill a 16 oz mason jar.

Guide to Food Gardening

Free easy reference guide to planting and maintenance of a school garden.

Watershed on Wheels

WOW brings all the necessary equipment to engage students in a variety of fun, half day, learning experiences.  You’ll be WOW’ed with these programs!

5 Outdoor Activities that will Connect Kids with Nature

Kids love insects, dirt, and water, which is why these activities will keep them entertained for hours this summer, while teaching them a lot about the natural world.

Outdoor Play and Learning: Loose Parts (part 3)

Come enjoy a day outside with these Ottawa teachers and their students as they engage in cooperative, inquiry-based learning using loose parts.

Interactive Animated Map

See current wind, weather, ocean, and pollution conditions, as forecast by super computers, on an interactive animated map.  Updated every 3 hours.

Monarch Butterflies

Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg employs high-speed, super up-close techniques to showcase in spectacular detail these wonderful little workhorses who are as pretty as they are vital.

Free Nature Canada ‘Birds of Canada’ e-book series

Birds flitter and fly all around us.  The are some of the most cherished wildlife, perhaps because of their cherry songs and intriguing behaviour.  Have you always wanted to learn more about birds, why they are important and what they can teach us?

Great Infographics for the Classroom

For great inforgraphics on a variety of environmental topics visit Peppermint Narwhal Creative’s facebook page.

8 Plant Identification Apps

Great apps to help you learn about plants while walking outside.  You can even get inspiration from your own garden. 

Top 10 Facts all About Animal Poop

We all know that everybody poops, but if you think all animals poop the same, be prepared to be surprised! Check out this top ten list of poopy animal facts.

8 Art Supplies you can Make at Home

Next time you need more paint, clay or other art supplies, just whip some up with ingredients already at home.

Blame Canada

Explores invasive species that have spread from Canada to the world, like the North American beaver, highlighted on the interactive Esri Canada map.  Follow the link below for the full lesson plan.

The Fragile Framework

A Nature comic examining the 25 year quest for a climate treaty.  Can nations unite to save the Earth’s climate.

Recycle your Electronics

Developed by OES, this is a free resource for Teachers in the study of Science and Technology for Grades 4-8

Oil Spills and Environmental Disasters

Grades 9-12 lesson plans.

Be a Bird Sluth

BirdSleuth’s Mission is to create innovative K-12 resources that build science skills while inspiring young people to connect to local habitats, explore biodiversity, and engage in citizen science projects.

How Recycled Paper is Made

Want to learn how paper is recycled?  Take a look at this informative video.

 Teacher Resources for Waste Reduction Week

Waste Reduction Week offers students and teachers from across Canada an excellent opportunity to explore the social, economic and environmental impacts of waste and to take action within their communities to make a positive difference.

Canadian Wildlife Federation: School Webinars

Take advantage of these great free webinars.  At approximately 15-25 minutes in length these webinars cover a wide variety of topics.

Weather and Meteorology Games and Activities

A great resource for activities such as making weather instrument, simulating weather features, and fun games.

DEEPER: Environmental and Sustainability Education

DEEPER aims to help support and deepen critical learning in faculties of education across Ontario.  This resource presents information on an initiative at OISE called DEEPER – Deepening Environmental Education in Pre-service Teacher Education Resource – which was developed to support efforts in preparing teachers for Environmental Education

World Climate Project

Ahead of the Paris climate talks in late 2015, Climate Interactive in collaboration with many partners has launched the World Climate Project to engage people worldwide around climate change. We are holding webinars, trainings, and releasing new materials to help you run the World Climate Exercise for your class, community, workplace, or friends.

Resources for Rethinking

Curriculum-linked resources for International Biodiversity Day from Resources for Rethinking.  Exemplary classroom resources reviewed by teachers for teachers.

 Wild Spaces for Monarchs

Your students will learn how simple and fun it is to make a difference for wildlife and habitat in Canada and they will have the chance to win some neat prizes for outstanding participation!

Know Canada’s trees with leafsnap

Leafsnap is a free mobile app that helps identify tree species from photographs of their leaves. It contains beautiful high-resolution images of their flowers, fruits, petioles, seeds, and bark

Science at a Run

PDF document with running games focused on conservation of energy and renewable resources.  Useful for grades 5 – 10.

These are the activities presented at STAO 2013.

Science at a Run

Water, Water Everywhere (DRAFT)

These lesson plans have been developed for the Ministry of Education with the help of the Teacher’s Federation of Ontario.  Pending full approval, they are available here early as ‘draft’ documents.  Changes may be made without notice.

All lessons plans meet expectations in the most recent curriculum revisions.

Canadians and Weather (7 – Hist + Sci) (DRAFT)

Students will design and conduct an experiment to test and compare different house building materials from the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s used by Canada’s founding peoples. They will investigate how well people were protected from the weather and consider benefits of reusing traditional building concepts in a modern setting.

Environmental Careers (8 – Lang+ Geog) (DRAFT)

Students will be introduced to a wide variety of careers including careers not traditionally associated with the environment. Students will choose one career to research in depth, write a short report and present their findings to a small group. The best Minds On for this topic is to invite a guest speaker with a job closely related to the environment to address the class.

Fresh Water Perspectives (DRAFT)

The significance of water bodies to Aboriginal Peoples prior to colonization and during their role in the early history of Canada is examined.How have we managed fresh water resources in the past, and how will this affect future decisions? What are the rights and responsibilities of individuals, Aboriginal communities, the federal and provincial governments, water bottling companies and other stakeholders? Resources are gathered to prepare for a class round table presentation.

Go Fish (DRAFT)

Students will collect fish tokens in a game that leads to real understanding of what is involved to ensure sustainability of a renewable resource.  The theme of the game is centred on how our choices and actions impact the sustainability of a resource. Once students recognize and adapt to the basic pattern of fluctuations in the fish population, changes in rules (lower catch limits, more fishers, government regulations, etc.) for later rounds of the game challenge students’ problem-solving skills.

Protecting Our Water (DRAFT)

This is a differentiated instruction assignment that requires students to research and communicate their findings. The task focus is on communication with different stakeholders in the community about a proposal to approve a plan to build a local water bottling plant. This is a modified R.A.F.T. (role, audience, format, topic) assignment.

Testing Water Quality (DRAFT)

This lesson is a hands-on inquiry activity examining physical and chemical water quality indicators. In class and field trip activities covering quantitative testing for temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, free chlorine, phosphates and nitrates. As well, qualitative testing for clarity/turbidity and odour is covered.

The Cost of Water (DRAFT)

Students will learn about factors to consider when choosing between tap water or buying bottled water. Some social, economic and environmental costs of using bottled water compared to tap water will be analyzed using math problems. As well, the process of extracting water, manufacturing bottled water, distribution, consumption and disposal of empty bottles will be considered.

Climate Change and the Arctic 1 (DRAFT)

A hands-on inquiry activity about temperature change within a mini arctic ecosystem built in a reused plastic bottle will provide “real-life” data to demonstrate the effect of additional carbon dioxide on the greenhouse effect for grade 7 science and geography.

Climate Change and the Arctic 2 (DRAFT)

Students view two movies and read book passages about climate change in the Arctic to gather information for writing a letter in role about the effect of climate change on Arctic wildlife and people. They identify actions they can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Use for grade 7 science and geography.

Drinking Water (DRAFT)

Students view two movies and read book passages about climate change in the Arctic to gather information for writing a letter in role about the effect of climate change on Arctic wildlife and people. They identify actions they can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Use for grade 7 science and geography.

Cooperative Watershed Mapping (DRAFT)

Students use materials found outdoors to make a watershed landscape. Students then decide where the rivers will flow.They cooperatively form the rivers using a trickle flow apparatus with the flowing material (corn meal) representing water flowing in rivers. Students then draw a map of the watershed they have created, complete with mapping conventions to represent all the geographic features. This map could form the basis of subsequent activities to learn additional Geography, or Science and Technology expectations.