Superpower your School winner spotlight: Charles C. McLean Public School

Hatching new wildlife, one salmon at a time

Since 2011, judges of the Superpower your School contest have seen thousands of dynamic and fresh initiatives that benefit our world, one community at a time, on and off land. Students at Charles C. McLean Public School in Gore Bay, Ontario, on Manitoulin Island, are no exception.

They’ve hatched a spectacular program, where students from grades 4 to 7 have been actively engaged in the care of a very successful salmon microhatchery project at the school since the 2015. School custodian Richard Panton, and teachers Laura Hagman (grade 4) and Christa Flood (grade 1) have joined forces with community partner Ches Witty to lead the care and management of the project.

 

Through this project, students have the opportunity to learn about the lifecycle of salmon, importance of habitat, conservation efforts to protect sport fishing and understand commercial fishing. Thanks to a partnership with the Gore Bay Fish & Game Club (GBFGC) the microhatchery has expanded and can receive eggs at the school. The success of the program has also expanded to two other elementary schools to achieve a community-wide foundation for learning and cultivating salmon.

In winning the Superpower your School contest in 2017, students and faculty were able to purchase a GoPro camera that allows them to regularly film and closely monitor the fish. The school also purchased iPads to chronicle the growth of the fish and the daily care offered to them by the hatchery team.

 

The environmental impact of the program is twofold: it supports the local fishery and also teaches students important lessons about proper conservation, habitat preservation and the impact humans have on the Great Lakes.

We’re confidant this project will continue to flourish and hatch into new educational opportunities for residents of the Gore Bay area and the fresh minds at Charles C. McLean Public School.

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