Who We Are
Hi, my name is Joe Grabowski and I teach grade 6 at St. John Catholic School in the Wellington Catholic District School Board. My class has been using Skype to connect with guest speakers from all over the world. We have a goal to connect with 50 scientists, explorers and conservationists. We've connected with an expedition on an active volcano in Italy, talked conservation with Celine Cousteau, learned traditional dance from children in Uganda, taken a virtual deep sea dive on a submersible in Roatan and hung out in an Adele Penguin colony in Antarctica. And this just scratches the surface.
Check out our list of past and upcoming guest speakers: http://mrgsclassroom6.weebly.com/skype-classroom.html
I have an opportunity to take it to the next level in June, literally bringing Skype into the Classroom, actually school board wide. Sharks4Kids is a not for profit group based out of Florida and the Bahamas that focuses on educating students about sharks, current conservation efforts and of their importance to the ocean.
We're looking to raise funds to help offset some of the cost of airfare and accommodation for the Sharks4Kids team during their stay in Guelph. While here their goal will be to visit as many elementary and high schools as possible within our school board. In the schools, the plan is to put on a series of interactive presentations, specifically geared towards our primary, junior and intermediate divisions.
So who would be coming? Jillian Morris and her two teammates are marine biologists who have spent thousands of hours in the water with sharks. Jillian and her husband Duncan Brake have conducted research with the Bimini Shark Lab and filmed documentaries around the world for the likes of Discovery, National Geographic, Animal Planet and the BBC. Dr. Derek Burkeholder is currently working in Florida at the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University, tagging and tracking sharks to learn their migration patterns and determine what areas of the oceans need to be protected the most.
Sharks play a critical role in the balance of our ocean ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, shark populations are being decimated globally. The rapid decline in populations teamed with the man-eating monster stereotypes sharks have garnered over the years, have left sharks fighting for their survival. Jillian has been using Skype in the Classroom to connect with students around the world since October. My grade 6 class was actually her first call. After speaking with Jillian, my students were inspired to write letters to our Prime Minister asking for a ban on shark fin products in Canada. We also wrote several open letters to the Premier of Western Australia, attempting to draw attention to the ill-advised shark cull. We made local and international news, having several articles published. My students learned that they can have a voice, be heard and make a difference, even if they are far away from an issue.
This was inspired in large part due to our meeting Jillian. She's incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about sharks. If she can have such a positive impact in one school, just imagine what she and her team could do in a whole school board.
Thank you for taking the time to check out our proposal. Any little bit helps, if we happen to exceed our goal any excess funds will be contributed to the full cost of the school board visit. http://mrgsclassroom6.weebly.com/blog.html