October 4, 2018 – Halifax (Nova Scotia)
A groundbreaking online learning experience that transforms how we learn about and engage with the ocean is now available to students across Canada. Freely accessible at oceanschool.ca and fully bilingual, Ocean School combines leading educational technologies with compelling storytelling techniques to immerse youth in the world of ocean science and culture. Learners engage with breathtaking videos, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 360-degree experiences, interactive games, and other multi-media as they are digitally transported from the classroom to the forefront of ocean research, innovation, industry and culture.
Founded by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Dalhousie University, Ocean School operates in partnership with Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation and, within Dalhousie, under the auspices of the Ocean Frontier Institute. The work launched today was created with support from a variety of partners, including Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
Guided by young explorers and Dr. Boris Worm, the Scientific Director of Ocean School, learners join ocean experts as they tackle the complex and increasingly urgent challenges of understanding and protecting the global ocean. Designed for ages 11 to 15, Ocean School employs a flexible, modular format that allows content to be adapted to the available technology, regardless of learners’ ages and interests. The experience will be fully integrated with Google Classroom and will provide teachers with the tools they need to monitor and assess student progress.
The first Ocean School unit (launching today) is based on scientific expeditions in the Canadian North Atlantic. Learners will utilize a wide range of learning tools and experiences throughout the unit, such as using virtual reality to pilot an underwater robot in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and discovering the history of cod through the eyes of an Indigenous artist. Additional Ocean School units filmed in the Canadian North Pacific and off the coast of Costa Rica are currently in production and will become available to learners in 2019. Future content filmed in the Canadian Arctic and around the world will follow shortly after.
Today’s Ocean School launch also marks an early milestone in the NFB’s revamped educational offer, which in 2019 will expand to include Media School and Indigenous Voices and Reconciliation.
When the class sign-up option is available, teachers and students will be able to experience Ocean School and submit their work to have a chance to win a visit from the production team and create immersive content, in addition to prizes such as a 360-degree video camera and three VR headsets. The winning class will be announced by a jury on June 8, 2019, World Ocean Day. Contest details will be provided in the following weeks as class registration features are made available.
More information about Ocean School can be found on its website. More information about the National Film Board’s educational offer can be found at nfb.ca/education.
With the launch of the learning experience and its North Atlantic content, Ocean School is looking to expand its offering and continues to seek partners to fund and shape content focused on the North Pacific, the Canadian Arctic, and the Great Lakes.
“The first component of the NFB’s new educational offer, designed to inspire, engage and stimulate the creativity of its young users, Ocean School showcases creativity and innovation. This learning experience will improve our knowledge of the global ocean as it gives young Canadians the tools they need to become agents of change. The NFB joins Dalhousie University and the Ocean Frontier Institute, as well as Ingenium, in thanking our partners for their support, so vital to this launch!” − Claude Joli-Coeur, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada
“As an international leader in ocean research, Dalhousie is proud to be a part of this groundbreaking initiative that will immerse youth across the country in ocean science and culture. Ocean School is playing a critical role, not only in increasing ocean literacy in Canada, but also in fostering the next generation of marine experts. We look forward to continuing our work with the National Film Board of Canada and our many esteemed partners on this innovative and impactful program.” − Dr. Richard Florizone, President of Dalhousie University
“Ingenium is excited to be a part of this special collaboration, which allows us to leverage immersive technologies to foster a deeper understanding of the global ocean. This innovative learning platform provides us with a unique opportunity to inspire a new generation of young Canadians to make their mark in protecting this vital ecosystem.” − Christina Tessier, President and CEO, Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation
“Young people care about the ocean and understand the urgent need to protect it. I am pleased that our government is supporting innovative flagship projects like Ocean School—because it equips our youth with the tools and resources to become the next generation of ocean scientists, innovators, and leaders. By working together, we can ensure that our marine ecosystems are sustainable and healthy for generations to come.” − The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“As one of Ocean School’s earliest partners, we’re proud to support an initiative that will create a meaningful experience for students. In fact, we are integrating Ocean School in our grade 7 and 8 pilot curriculum in Science, so our students can learn more about the ocean and its importance in our well-being, economy and future.” − The Honourable Zach Churchill, Nova Scotia Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
“Introducing ocean science to our young people at an early age, and encouraging ocean literacy at all grade levels, can inspire future ocean innovations and encourage a robust ocean workforce in the years to come. Our government is proud to support initiatives like Ocean School that use creative, hands-on techniques to engage and inspire students.” − The Honourable Labi Kousoulis, Nova Scotia Minister of Labour and Advanced Education
About Dalhousie University and the Ocean Frontier Institute
Founded in 1818, Dalhousie University is Atlantic Canada’s leading research-intensive university. Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dalhousie is situated within a cluster identified as one of the world’s top three international centres in ocean research. The university is proud of its leadership role with the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), which represents a historic partnership between three flagship Canadian universities and eight major international research institutes, as well as partners in the Government of Canada, federal laboratories, the National Film Board and industry from across Canada and around the world. Dalhousie is pleased to have co-founded Ocean School in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada to advance ocean literacy among young learners in Canada and abroad. Within Dalhousie, Ocean School operates under the auspices of the Ocean Frontier Institute.
About Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation
Ingenium represents a collaborative space where the past meets the future in a celebration of creativity, discovery, and human ingenuity. Telling the stories of people who think differently and test the limits, Ingenium honours people and communities who have shaped history — and inspire the next generation. Under the Ingenium brand, the three museums — the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Canada Science and Technology Museum — provide a sensory experience that immerses young and old alike in the countless ways science and technology connect with Canadians’ everyday lives. This web portal is part of that experience: a place to learn and explore, play and discover. It’s an invitation to unleash curiosity, marvel at the power of human ingenuity to overcome incredible odds — and even be inspired to take part in the unfolding story of science and innovation!
About the NFB
The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences. NFB producers are embedded in communities across the country, from St. John’s to Vancouver, working with talented creators on innovative and socially relevant projects. The NFB is a leader in gender equity in film and digital media production, and is working to strengthen Indigenous-led production, guided by the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. NFB productions have won over 7,000 awards, including 20 Canadian Screen Awards, 18 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 100 Genies. To access NFB works, visit NFB.ca or download its apps for mobile devices.