The Original Project

In 2010/2011, I undertook a study of the shoreline environment with my class of grade 4 and 5 students.  I had lots of ideas as to how it might look at the start.  I clearly saw some of the activities, from taking mud and water samples, to collecting data on birds, to counting the number of crabs under the rocks throughout the year.  My vision evolved, grew and achieved a direction as the year unfolded.  It was a very exciting journey.  Here is the original description of the project when I first began in September 2010:

My inspiration for this project came this summer when I was exploring an old mill site along the shore in Port Moody with my two sons.  My youngest son ended up sinking in some very sticky mud.  My eldest son and I tried to rescue him and ended up getting thoroughly stuck too.  When we finally pulled ourselves free of the muck we were all astounded by the sight and smell of the muck that covered our shoes and clothing.  It was black and very smelly.  We all wondered what it was.  Could it be natural?  Mudflats can be smelly things!  Or were we covered in toxic waste from old brick and pulp mills? How have humans impacted this environment, and if we have, is there something we can do about it?  How does one asses the health of an environment such as this?

And with that, I had the inspiration for an inquiry-based classroom project on the health of the Port Moody branch of the Burrard Inlet, both past and present.

I am used to embarking on journeys such as this all on my own.  This year, I will not be alone.  I will be working with at least 4 different scientists who work in this region.  This is the scariest, most exciting piece for me.  I really would like to use their passion for their work, their knowledge and their wisdom to help me make this project the strongest I have ever been involved in.  I hope they are excited to chart some new territory too.

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