One of them stops to look at you. It's so close you could touch it. Suddenly the whale dives. You look down into the depths and follow it.
You surface and climb onto a waiting boat. Somebody's talking to you.
“Did you enjoy your dive?”
You turn and find yourself face-to-face with marine scientist Sarika Cullis-Suzuki, daughter of award-winning scientist and broadcaster, David Suzuki.
Sarika describes the critical role apex predators play in the ocean food web. Behind her an orca leaps out of the water. You freeze-frame it in mid-leap, then glide over to have a closer look. Text and graphics slide out next to the whale detailing it's weight, age, diet preferences, swimming speed and migratory pathway.
The next day at school, your teacher logs into Ocean School with her National Film Board (NFB) Education account and shares the lesson’s critical challenge:
“How are orcas like humans?”
On a screen at the front of the class you watch a series of short documentary films. In one of them, Sarika Cullis-Suzuki describes the fascinating cultures and languages of different orca pods. In another, she presents a compelling history of the vital relationship between orcas and the Haida people of the Pacific Northwest.
You discuss with your classmates and log into the Ocean School Community to look at other students’ responses to today’s critical challenge. You notice that students from British Columbia have posted photos of yesterday’s field trip to Telegraph Cove. You open an Ocean Tracker app to see if the orcas they saw are still in the area.
Your teacher then connects to the NFB’s Ocean School Virtual Classroom site. On the large screen at the front of the room, Sarika is broadcasting live in real time from the Dalhousie Ocean Education and Outreach Centre.
a curriculum and inquiry-based program of 32 learning experiences that integrates short films, virtual reality (VR) and 360˚ experiences, webinars and corresponding learner resources, intended for youth, ages 11-15 years.
a series of immersive VR and 360˚ experiences designed to engage a global audience. Ocean School 360˚ is delivered on head-mounted displays, tablets, smartphones and in VR-enabled web browsers. Users can explore immersive environments to discover a series of augmented reality vignettes that present additional content related to the person, place, creature and issue at hand.
a physical centre for Ocean Education, Research and Public Engagement based at Dalhousie University. Ocean School HQ will host the Ocean School engagement team, a focused group of scientists, communicators, content creators and connectors. The goal is to work with like-minded individuals and organizations to foster an open conversation that begins in classrooms, aquariums or public installations and encourages direct action through a wide network of strategic partnerships with established citizen-science and citizen-engagement programs.
Ocean School is made possible by an unprecedented lead partnership between scientists at Dalhousie University and media and education experts at the National Film Board of Canada. This partnership began in 2013 and has included an expedition to Cocos Island, Costa Rica to research and film content for a Pilot Program. The joint vision outlined here celebrates the collaborative nature of Ocean School and will continue to guide the project’s development.
Thanks to the generous contributions of our supporters, we are developing an Ocean School prototype that will be testing in select schools in Nova Scotia in January 2017. We will be capturing footage for this prototype throughout Nova Scotia this summer.
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