"For in the end, we will save only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught." - Senegal
Seine River Science Lab
Manitoba science curricula seek to prepare students to be informed and involved citizens by engaging them in active learning about the natural world and interactions between science, technology, society, and the environment. The Seine River corridor provides many such opportunities. For example, students in my Senior 2 Science course recently studied the potential impact of constructing a new bridge across the Seine River to link the Royalwood subdivision to St. Anne's Road. Students were genuinely concerned about habitat loss and increased traffic in their neighbourhood, and wrote a local city councillor to that effect. Based on their research, they concluded that a single bridge through a non-forested area at Warde Avenue would be a more cost-effective, environmentally sensitive solution.
Several Collège Jeanne-Sauvé students recently volunteered to participate in Save Our Seine's annual Greening project while others plan to help out in the upcoming Cleaning event. These valuable stewardship projects enable young people to contribute to the betterment of their community, fostering in them a sense of accomplishment and an appreciation for the ability of individuals to effect positive change.
The Seine River corridor offers a rich context for the study of science at other levels as well. In Grade 6, students could observe and identify organisms by hiking along a riverbank path or by examining a water sample collected from the river. In Grade 7, students could identify how humans impact the Seine River forest ecosystem or devise a plan to protect the habitat of one of the forest's "at risk" species. In Grade 8, students could study techniques used to reduce riverbank erosion as well as sources of pollution in the watershed and their environmental and societal consequences.
Save Our Seine plans to develop teaching and learning materials to make the Seine River corridor a valuable and accessible outdoor classroom.
JEFF ANDERSON As curriculum consultant for Manitoba Education and Training, Jeff was one of the principal architects of the Manitoba Science curriculum. He currently teaches Senior Years Science at Collège Jeanne-Sauvé in the Louis Riel School Division.