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Innovators: Oceans Learning Partnership (OLP)
Oceans Learning Partnership (OLP)
34 Salmonier Line, P.O. Box 623, Holyrood, NL A0A 2R0
Maria G. Giovannini
Education and Training
The Oceans Learning Partnership (OLP) is the lead organization for a new Ocean Education Initiative for youth in the Newfoundland and Labrador school system, providing a much-needed bridge between K-12 and post-secondary.
OLP has united all key players in ocean science and education to create a collaborative and integrated approach to ocean education for younger students in this province. The aim is to offer hands-on learning experiences that excite young people about ocean science and technology and expose them to the many careers available in the ocean sectors.
Scientists and educators from Memorial University, Marine Institute, Parks Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada are all part of the initiative, along with program advisors from Department of Education and NL Teachers Association. Funding partners include the Hebron Project, ACOA, and the Government of NL – Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, and Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
OLP and its partners are focused on the following program priorities:
- Coastal Explorers Field Program. This hands-on program is being piloted at 16 schools in the 2013-2014 school year, and will launch its first summer camps and workshops in 2014. Coastal Explorers combines at-sea excursions with onshore learning activities at the Ocean Science Centre, Bonne Bay Marine Station and Terra Nova National Park. Students explore the marine environment up close, learn about boating safety and navigation, participate in real-world ocean research, and use state-of the-art technologies to view and map the underwater world.
- Digital Oceans Project. Still in the R&D phase, this project will bring the ocean to the classroom, streaming real-time data and video content from underwater equipment and onshore participating sites. A dedicated web portal will connect students with ocean professionals and allow field research from the classroom. The project will also include web video profiles on research projects underway in our waters, and a podcast series on careers in the marine sector.
- Marine Interpreters Training and Development: Through the OLP collaboration, partner organizations will create a province-wide network of marine interpreters, with shared standards of professionalism and training. This will help ensure program excellence for all participating partners, while offering new career opportunities for marine science graduates.
- Summer Teachers Institute. This event gets science and technology teachers excited about the possibilities for teaching ocean studies. Onboard OLP’s ‘floating classroom’, teachers get to work with new and sophisticated oceanographic equipment and find ways to incorporate the data they produce into the existing curriculum, and develop specific classroom projects.