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EcoSpark’s Changing Currents program is a hands-on educational program that helps you and your students make curriculum come to life through the exploration of your local river or stream. Students use scientific protocols to monitor the quality of the water and contribute to a GTA water-monitoring program.  Furthermore, students then get a chance to take action based on what they discover.

What EcoSpark Provides

  1. Teacher training which includes instruction on stream sampling protocols, benthic invertebrate identification, and connecting your stream study to curriculum.
  2. OCT (Ontario Certified Teacher) and OBBN (Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network) certified staff to lead your in-field study.
  3. Equipment for use during the study.
  4. Resources to run your stream assessment (including data sheets, presentations, monitoring and specimen samples).
  5. Publication of results in an Ontario-wide water quality assessment.
  6. The opportunity for students to get outside and connect with nature through learning, exploring, and looking at aquatic BUGS!

What we need from you

In order for us to continue offering Changing Currents at a low-cost to all our participating schools we need you to:

  1. Ensure at least ONE teacher participating in Changing Currents can attend a teacher training session.
  2. Bring your student’s signed photo permission waivers to the study.
  3. Plan for 5-10 minutes at the end of the session for student evaluations.
  4. Complete a quick online teacher survey about your experience with the program.

Throughout the program, EcoSpark supports you and your students by providing training, field-trip facilitation, equipment, guidebooks, and handouts. Follow the links in the sidebar to learn more about the five steps of implementing the program. Click here for a list of our teacher resources.

The program consists of five steps:

1. Attend a teacher training session that prepares you to do benthic macro-invertebrate bio-monitoring.

2. Prepare students in class for the stream study field trip.

3. Host a stream study field trip facilitated by an EcoSpark staff member.

4. Analyse your data.

5. Help students organize an action (optional) based on their discoveries.


Are you a SHSM teacher? Head over to our SHSM page to learn more about how your students can receive a certification in stream assessment protocol!