By Liza Barney (Education Program Coordinator) and Stuart Mackenzie (Director, Migration Ecology), Birds Canada
Have you ever wondered where birds go for the winter? Are you curious about why they leave, how fast they travel, and where they stop? What threats do birds face along their journey, and when will they come back?
The Motus Wildlife Tracking System (Motus) is helping scientists answer some of these big questions, and now students can do the same. With support from NSERC PromoScience, Birds Canada has been working with scientific collaborators and educators to bring the exciting research of Motus into the classroom.
The Migration Education program aims to inspire learners and build knowledge about birds and science through a real-world conservation lens. The resources include an educator guide, interactive classroom activities, a virtual field trip to Long Point Bird Observatory in Ontario, species-specific case studies, and Motus tracking visuals for regions and species of interest. The activities encourage critical thinking – from both a local and global perspective – about the life history of birds, the natural and human-related threats they face, and conservation of species at risk.
Migration Education is adaptable for Grades 7-12, meeting regional curriculums with multi-disciplinary connections to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering/Environment, Art, Math), and supporting project and inquiry-based classroom learning activities. The strength of Migration Education is in its collaborative nature – connecting scientists, communities, educators, and students for the knowledge and conservation of our shared birds.
We invite you to explore the journeys of birds and wonders of migration with the Migration Education program, here: motus.org/education.
This project was made possible with support from our Motus science collaborators, and a growing network of enthusiastic and passionate educators for birds and conservation. This includes Motus school stations at Horton High School in Wolfville, NS; Tantramar Regional High School in Sackville, NB; Russell Reid Public School in Brantford, ON; Northern Lights Secondary School in Moosonee, ON, and F.G. Leary Elementary School in Chilliwack, BC.
Development of Migration Education was financially supported by NSERC PromoScience and Ontario Trillium Foundation.