Our final “end-of-year” project covered a pretty huge topic. That topic was none other than The Earth.
Now, that obviously wasn’t our whole topic as it’s a bit too broad of a topic. The project we designed was a Call to Action. In other words we were tasked with creating a product that brings people’s attention to something that is affecting our planet. We then had to choose a problem that was affecting our country (Canada) specifically, and that was related to one of the UN’s 17 sustainability goals.
So, in short, we had to create a call to action about an environmental issue affecting Canada. The ultimate goal was to answer our driving question.
Why should we remember the history of environmentalism and sustainability within Canada? How do we respond today?
I chose to focus on “Life Underwater” since marine life and marine biology is a deeply interesting topic to me and, Canada is not lacking in Oceans, rivers and lakes. There were so many issues I could’ve chosen to make my call to action about but I chose to make my posters (which were a part of my call to action) about the following issues:
The second part of my call to action was an infographic that talked a little bit more the issues I outlined in the posters and also about the ways we could help keep our oceans clean and avoid repeating the mistakes we’ve made. It can accessed directly from the posters if you scan the QR code. You can see it below:
Now that you’ve seen the end result, maybe you would like to go back in time to the beginning of this project with me!
Part 1: The Golden Spruce and Documentaries
Before we even started to create our calls to action, we had to learn more about the history of Canada’s environment and really the fundamental attitude man holds towards nature. To do this, we had a fantastic book called the “Golden Spruce”, a book focused on the giant Golden spruce tree that lived on Haida Gwaii, a strange man named Grant Hadwin and the history of logging in Canada focusing mainly on the North West Coast.
I have included couple of the responses I had to do for this book below, to help you get a sense of what the book is like.
The second part of immersing ourselves in what had actually happened in Canada and the world environmentally speaking, and what was happening now was something we are calling “Socratic Seminars”. These seminars were class wide discussions and responses to Documentaries that we were supposed to watch. I have linked the documentaries below. I would highly recommend watching these as they are deeply interesting.
Before the Flood:
Another documentary I would recommend, even though we didn’t watch it in class is called “The Lost Forest” and is a Nobel Peace Prize winning documentary made by National Geographic.
The Lost Forest:
Part 2: Research Research and more research
After having gained some understanding of hat our environmental past, present and possibly future looks like, it was time to start my project. Of course, the most important part of any project is research, and this project was entirely dependant on my research. The state of the world’s and Canada’s oceans is appalling, not to mention that it is is also a very complicated issue. The most challenging part of this project was probably trying to decide what bits to talk about and which I had to cut out. I have attached my research document below:
Part 3: Curricular Competencies
As any project done in a school setting, we are being assessed based on curricular competencies. The ones used for this project were:
Ethical Dimensions: How do we decide if the actions and decisions in the past were fair or unjust, or should or should not have been been taken?
Connect: How do I understand my own and others’ personal connection to texts I read, listen, and view?
There were multiple ways I feel that I connected with and understood these competencies. The “ethical dimensions” competency was one carried throughout this entire project. But was the most prevalently used, or at least I thought, when we were discussing the Golden Spruce or during Socratic Seminars. I feel as though my reflections on the Golden Spruce show that, and I think my whole class showed a really good understanding of this competency when were discussing the “Dam-nation” documentary. For example: All of us understood that dams detrimental to the environment however, they provide a cleaner source of energy that fossil fuels. Is it fair that we human destroyed natural habitats? Absolutely not. Should we be mindful of that in the future? Of course. Have these dams brought us to where we are today and do we need them to make there change from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives? Yes.
A key piece of this project was being able to connect what I see everyday and what I was reading and hearing. When you live in a place like Deep Cove with crisp air, beautiful oceans, forests literally everywhere and picturesque mountains it’s hard to imagine an ocean with bits of plastic floating everywhere and sections of said ocean that are now considered “dead-zones” because of oil spills. But in order to be able to realize this project I had to understand the statistics and information I was reading and I had to understand how to format it in ways that would be impactful and meaningful to other people. Which I feel that I accomplished with my posters.
Part 4: Reflection
This project and this blog post really meant a lot to me. This is my last project with PLP and my last blog post for PLP. So thank you for reading this. This call to action is something that I feel a connection to, well, I suppose we all do (anyone living on earth that is). It’s important to recognize what’s happening to our earth eve if we don’t see it everyday. And it’s important to be able to look on the historic events that have lead to this with as little bias as possible. I have learnt so much about how the state of our planet and what we are doing and can do to help and that has been an invaluable learning experience.- The most important thing that I hope you take away from this blog post is that we need to do more as a species to save our oceans, and our earth. This has been Gabby, thank you for reading this and if you’ve been here before thank you for being with me throughout this two year journey.