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

Province not doing enough for forestry sector, say Liberals

Although Minister of Forests says government working to diversify industry, rural economies

Column: how to bring young blood to ranching

A Young Agarians program seeks to partner new ranchers with old

Stolen truck involved in fatal collision on Highway 16

Wednesday’s two-vehicle crash killed one man, 23, and injured two others

Local company Northern Homecraft wins big at Northern B.C. awards

Vanderhoof company won in two categories for homes built in Fort St. James area

Column: the 4-H way of life

Local 4-H member Jacinta Meir on what being a member means to her

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

Quesnel fed up with detour, urges Ottawa to speed up road repair

West Fraser Road has been on detour since spring 2018, with no plans to repair washout until 2020

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Most Read