Earth Day recap: Bring water testing and the giant map to your classroom!

Although it’s Ocean Week, we want to quickly reminisce about the incredible Earth Day we celebrated earlier this year. This past Earth Day, we teamed up with the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition (COLC) at the Vancouver Sustainability Connect Conference during the Vancouver School Board (VSB) Pro-D Day! Our Education Coordinator, Praise, and COLC’s Learning and Engagement Specialist, Jae, led a workshop with engaging activities and hands-on learning experiences. Here’s a look back at the highlights and what we achieved together.

Local water testing and community science

Praise collected water samples from different water bodies around Vancouver, including the Fraser River at Fraser River Park, Burrard Inlet at New Brighton Park, and the Pacific Ocean at Kitsilano Beach. These samples allowed us to test and compare water quality from diverse environments and make insights based on what we knew about our community.

During the workshop, participants learned how to test water samples for key indicators like conductivity and pH. Using conductivity meters and test strips, they measured the ionic content and acidity/alkalinity of the water. This hands-on activity provided interesting data and sparked discussions about the impact of human activities on water quality and the importance of regular monitoring. We had great conversations about the different types of industry in our communities, changes to the climate over the years, and local fresh and saltwater sources!

Exploring the Ocean, Freshwater, and Us Giant Floor Map

Our learning was reinforced with the Ocean, Freshwater, and Us giant floor map. This interactive tool helped participants understand the interconnectedness of waterways by physically walking through the map. Developed as an educational resource, the giant floor map comes in various sizes, making it perfect for schools, libraries, museums, and events. Students got to situate themselves on the map and learn to connect our watersheds to the global ocean, thanks to Jae’s fantastic teaching and a little bit of augmented reality that brought the map to life!

By testing water in the community and then situating ourselves on the map, we were able to learn and connect our watersheds to the global ocean!

Thanks to the Vancouver Sustainability Connect Conference for hosting us and providing a platform to share our passion for sustainable technology and water quality. A huge thank you to Jae for flying in from the east coast and bringing her expertise to the event. And, of course, a big shoutout to all the educators and participants who made this Earth Day event a memorable and impactful experience!

Bring the experience to your classroom

If you’re an educator interested in incorporating these activities into your curriculum, we’re here to help! Reserve the giant floor map, get our educational test kit, and reach out to us for support in bringing this interactive and educational experience to your students. Let’s continue to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards together.

And now, back to Ocean Week! This is a fantastic time to start teaching water-ocean-climate literacy. Explore here for all the events we’ll be hosting! Educators, start looking into your calendars to book the map for September and make the most of these incredible resources!