Sturgeon curriculum flows through schools

The Nechako White Sturgeon Curriculum has made its way into the School District No. 91 for grades 4-7.

The Nechako White Sturgeon Curriculum is now in schools throughout District No. 91. Michelle Roberge

After two years in the making, the Nechako White Sturgeon Curriculum has finally flowed it’s way into classrooms.

“It’s about the river that runs through our community, the watershed in which we live in and an endangered species in our own backyard, so it’s definitely applicable,” said Michelle Roberge,  one of the local biologists who wrote the curriculum. “It teams science, social responsibility, a bit of geography, history and First Nations content.”

What started as The Healthy Watersheds for Sturgeon School Program, in now a new and improved curriculum that aims to teach younger generations the fundamental role healthy watersheds and riparian zones have on all organisms.

It has attracted a number of organizations including the school system because of the inclusiveness of rivers, streams, riparian areas, restoration, and sturgeon.

The program has three main units, each with a variety of lesson plans written to engage grades 4-7. Every school in District 91 with those grades were given two complete modules this past September.

“Teachers are encouraged to use any part of it. All the background information is provided,” said Ms. Roberge. “It even includes power-point presentations, smart board activities, and field trips all already planned out.”

Two sturgeon stuffed animals are also available on loan to teachers who wish to show students a real size ratio of how big the fish can get.

Lana Ciarnielle, the Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative co-ordinator who overseas programs geared to outreach and harm reduction, contracted Mia Moutray, a teacher from Vanderhoof, (through funding from Rio Tinto Alcan and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC) to work with summer students to create an outline of the learning package.

They used outreach material provided in part by the NWSRI and Murray Creek Rehabilitation Project (in-kind contribution from Murray Creek) to form the Healthy Watersheds for Sturgeon School Program.

The following year through grant funding by the Habitat Stewardship Program, Ms. Roberge was contracted to complete the curriculum and get it ready to pilot in schools (2013).

She made the program ‘teacher and student friendly’ and then piloted the program during the 2013-14 school year to get feedback from teachers.

Wanda Nemethy, a teacher at McLeod Elementary, used the program during its pilot stage with her grade four students.

“We didn’t do the whole unit, we did parts, but it was quite educational,” said Ms. Nemethy. “It’s a great unit to have because it’s local. It’s something my students can relate to because in the past they have been part of the sturgeon being released into the river. The field trip to Murray Creek was great,  Michelle came and did some stations with the kids. We then met with Michelle at the end of the year to go over things that could be changed, mainly wording that was a little too advanced for my students.”

Although the program is geared toward grades 4-7, Ms. Ciarnielle hopes to expand the program over the next few years and make it usable for kindergarten through to grade 12.

 

Just Posted

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Healthcare travelling roadshow aims to inspire high school students across B.C

Over 2,000 youth in different rural communities will be visited through this project

Gallery: Project Heavy Duty inspires students into it’s 32nd year

The event is a collaboration between SD91 and industry in and around Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Fort St. James

Madison Scott’s mother hosts event to keep search for her missing daughter alive

Eight years ago, the Vanderhoof teenager disappeared, and the RCMP continue to chase leads

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read