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What is School Watch?

School Watch is a program where teachers learn how to lead citizen science projects with their students on school grounds.

We deliver teacher professional development and student activities on curriculum-linked environmental projects such as tree inventories, pollinator monitoring, and bird surveys. This project allows Grade 6-12 students to contribute REAL scientific data while learning about ecosystem health, positive actions and environmental science in the community.  

How Can My School Participate?

Full Year Option

This stream is designed to engage multiple teachers and classes within each school for a longer period of time, so that citizen science projects are effectively integrated into classroom plans, including school and class projects. By working more closely with schools in this manner, we are encouraging students and teachers to develop deeper connections to their local green spaces, and to engage in activities to create positive environmental change in their communities.

School Watch Guide

EcoSpark helps schools identify monitoring goals and research questions, and select the relevant citizen science projects. Throughout the school year, teachers and schools will receive: 

  • In depth training about upcoming citizen science projects relevant to their goals, and a physical copy of our School Watch Guide
  • EcoSpark-developed teaching resources that can be used throughout the year
  • Student sessions facilitated by our EcoSpark, where our staff will lead students on an in depth exploration of their school yard - whether it be monitoring pollinators, invasive species, or birds
  • Citizen science kit, including binoculars, butterfly nets, field identification materials, forestry measurements equipment, and a rain gauge! 

Single Session Option

If you’re just one teacher looking for a single student session to complement your class instruction, look no further than this stream option! When you sign up for this option,  you’ll get access to an in depth, interactive webinar that takes you on a step-by-step tutorial on starting your own citizen science inquiry with your students. You will also be mailed a physical copy of our School Watch Guide, along with curriculum-connected teaching resources you can use throughout the year. Your class will also receive an EcoSpark-facilitated student session, where we’ll bring all the equipment necessary (like butterfly nets, binoculars, data sheets, and tree measuring equipment!) for a fun morning or afternoon of citizen science.

Click Here For Registration Information

For more information about School Watch, please contact:
Dana Buchbinder, Citizen Science Coordinator 
647-258-3280 x 2003

School Watch would not be possible without the generous support from:

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

The Chawkers Foundation

The McLean Foundation

York Region District School Board

TRCA Peel EcoSchools

Toronto District School Board Sustainability Office/EcoSchools.