The focus of this workshop is to give teachers a framework for empowering students to take positive environmental action that fits within the learning outcomes, and competencies of the BC science curriculum. The issue of ocean plastics is used as an example, but the framework can be used for other environmental issues.
A 3-step approach is presented.
Motivation. Plastic Oceans short film will be shown to introduce the problem. How to use visual media and field work to motivate students to take action.
Education. Examples of in-depth studies and experimental investigations of various aspects of ocean plastics, and how these can fit within the curriculum.
Action. A “how to” plan of action for students to follow that can lead to lasting changes at the school community, local community, and provincial and federal levels.
Margaret has been a science and Biology teacher in Victoria for 39 years. She holds an Honours degree in Genetics and Biochemistry, was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence and has a UNEP Certificate for expertise in Marine Litter. Margaret founded Fin Free Victoria with Rob Stewart, and has worked with school students for many years on environmental campaigns such as Fin Free, Banning the Trophy hunting of Grizzly bears and the Ban the Bag campaign. During these campaigns she empowered her students to work with their communities, NGOs, and politicians at the provincial and federal levels- the end goal being legislation. They achieved successes with a ban on Grizzly Bear trophy hunting in BC, and the use of single-use plastic bags in Victoria. She is now schools coordinator for Surfrider Vancouver Island, an ambassador for Plastic Oceans Canada, and has recently started a single-use plastic free schools BC campaign.