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Updated Ocean Toolkit increases Ocean Literacy in the classroom | News Release

4 March 2020 (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) – COVE is excited to announce that the Taking Making into the Classroom: Ocean Toolkit, 2nd Edition, released in English in January 2020, is now also available in French.  This is a resource for educators across k-12 that facilitates ocean STEM learning in the classroom through design thinking projects and experiential learning activities. 

The second edition features two shipbuilding activities, that highlight engineering and marine trades skills, that were designed in partnership with two of Canada’s leading shipyards involved in the build of Canada’s national fleet; Irving Shipbuilding in Nova Scotia, and Seaspan Shipyards in British Columbia.  “Teachers who participated in our summer Ocean Institutes were grateful to have two robust engineering activities to use in their classrooms, as engineering concepts are often difficult to illustrate in the junior and middle-school years,” said Dr. Sherry Scully, Executive Director of COVE Workforce Initiative. “These two activities were developed by the engineering teams at Irving Shipbuilding and at Seaspan – and it was incredible to see the effort and creativity they put into their contributions to the toolkit.  Together, with educators and with key industry partners, we are deepening students’ understanding of ocean-related careers across Canada.”

In July and August of 2019, COVE Workforce Initiative, led by Dr. Sherry Scully, facilitated multi-day ocean institutes across Canada. Through a participatory design session, teachers developed new design thinking challenges which contributed to the 2nd edition of the Ocean Toolkit.  This resource reflects the growing commitment of educators from across Canada to facilitate ocean education that is interactive and inquiry-based, and that helps to foster ocean literacy and stewardship, and ocean-positive behaviours among students. Modeled on the Taking Making into Classrooms toolkits developed by Dr. Susan Crichton , professor Emeritus from the Innovative Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia (Kelowna Campus), this edition is the second ocean toolkit in the series.

The 2020 edition of the Ocean Toolkit was made possible through funding from CanCode and continued financial support from Irving Shipbuilding Inc. as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which now totals $5.75M, including $1.25M for the COVE Workforce Initiative.

“As Canada’s National Shipbuilder, our team at Irving Shipbuilding knows we can help develop Canada’s future shipbuilders, so being able to support the Ocean Toolkit with both funding and content from our engineers and designers was important to move this into the classroom as students starting thinking about future careers”, said Irving Shipbuilding President Kevin McCoy.

“We’re very proud to support the development of the Ocean Toolkit’s second edition. By engaging local teachers to learn how modern ships are built, we hope the toolkit sparks their students’ interest in the exciting range of careers in shipbuilding in Canada’, said Seaspan Shipyards Vice President, Corporate Affairs and External Communications, Amy MacLeod.

In addition, the toolkit has been assembled from the hard work and collaborations of educators from across the country, including the following;

–        Nova Scotia

o   Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

o   Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia (OTCNS)

o   Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

–        New Brunswick

o   Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

o   Huntsman Marine Centre

o   Engineers and Geoscientists NB

o   Cooke Aquaculture

–        British Columbia

o   Seaspan Shipyards

o   Vancouver School Board

o   OceanWise

o   Vancouver Aquarium

o   Industry Training Authority

o   Engineers and Geoscientists BC

The summer ocean institutes united ocean education with the Maker Movement which allows us to experiment with our ability to think wisely, tinker creatively, and share generously. Furthermore, it connected STEM education in the k-12 system with emerging ocean industries that are driving sustainable economic development across Canada.

The English and French versions of the toolkit can be found at

About COVE 

Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship (COVE) is an ocean tech business park that encourages collaboration across sectors to connect local and international companies in the ocean sector. COVE Workforce Initiative focuses on workforce development and engagement in Ocean Industries where youth and teacher engagement is a primary focus. COVE brings together people, ideas, industry and research to help our community and members work in new ways. Together, we are a catalyst in creating the world’s next practical, commercial and revolutionary ocean tech advances. Irving Shipbuilding, as part of its Value Proposition commitments under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), has invested over $6 million in COVE to support development of the programs and operations.  

About CanCode

CanCode is a program under the Government of Canada to support opportunities for Canadian students (kindergarten to grade 12) to learn digital skills including coding, data analytics, and digital content development. It also supports initiatives that provide K-12 teachers with the training and professional development they need to introduce digital skills and coding related concepts into the classroom.

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