Invasive Species in the School: Teaching Science as a Verb!

Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to BC’s biodiversity and have enormous ecological, social, and economic impacts.  Educators can play a key role in increasing awareness and reducing the spread of invasive species by engaging their students in environmental learning.  Teaching students about invasive species gives young people hands-on learning and stewardship opportunities that connect them to nature and community.  In an age of overwhelming environmental issues, students can feel empowered, hopeful and learn that they can make a difference by participating in invasive species field studies and action projects. Invasive species projects have the potential to not only benefit students, but also the whole school culture and community at large. 


In this participatory workshop, the Invasive Species Council of BC’s new Invasive Species in the School Program will be profiled and new engagement strategies for both online and in-person teaching will be shared. Educators will participate in several hands-on activities, games and video Q and A sessions, receive detailed lesson plans and videos, and learn how they can access a classroom kit of resources, engage local support people for action projects and invite an expert into their classroom. Complete lesson plans connected to the BC Curriculum will be available for Grades 4 to 7, and several new primary activities and videos will also be shared. The Invasive Species in the School Program engages students in hands-on learning, gives them knowledge, skills and opportunities to deepen their connection to nature and community, brings environmental issues to life, and inspires students to take action and be solutions-oriented.



New lessons will also be profiled for High School Science Grades 11/12 (applicable for Environmental Science 11 and 12, Life Sciences 11, Science for Citizens 11, Specialized Science 12).  These lessons incorporate action projects with volunteer hours that are required for graduation and include opportunities to work with and learn from biologists or other professionals for careers exploration.  

A key element of the action projects engages students in Citizen Science activities: engaging them in the practice of participating and collaborating in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge.  Student citizen scientists can contribute to data monitoring and collection, and may analyze data, interpret results, and make new discoveries. Citizen science apps are an effective way for students to use technology while learning skills and topics such as species identification and distribution, biogeography, and conservation, while contributing data that furthers scientific knowledge and understanding.

Target Audience

6-8/Middle school


12:45 PM - 2:15 PM

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  • Invasive Species Council of BC
    Sue Staniforth

    Sue Staniforth is the Education and Outreach Manager with the Invasive Species Council of BC. 

    As a biologist and educator, Sue brings to her work over 30 years of experience researching and writing curriculum on topics ranging from biodiversity to outdoor classrooms, facilitating professional development workshops and training industry professionals. Sue has been honoured to work with a number of Indigenous communities in BC as well as with the BC Ministry of Education, national and provincial parks, and many stewardship groups provincially and nationally.