Once the students selected their projects and developed their questions, I knew that I would need to call in some experts to help us out! (okay, okay, I knew long before that…..)
I’m not an expert on environmental issues (or really, anything for that matter!), so it was pretty obvious that we’d have to call in some outside help. And did we ever….
We wrote to the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Municipality of Red Lake (Mayor Phil Vinet), the OPP, our local librarian (Mrs. Phillips), a local environmental blogger, Goldcorp and Union Gas. And guess what? Everyone has responded!
Students prepared for their interviews by doing some preliminary research, learning about “deeper” questions and then writing a set of questions. Conferences were conducted and some revisions to the questions were made. I really wanted students to understand the importance and value of a primary source. I think we (as a society) have become too dependent on the internet (and Google!) to get our information (I count myself in that statement!). With a primary source, you’re accessing current, reliable, and authentic information.
So, with letters written and delivered, we awaited the responses. Well, some of us awaited the responses. Some had to go out and chase down their primary sources. And by “chase down” I mean valiantly search for a person who could help them. Phone calls have been placed to zoos and universities in Canada and the United States! Their efforts have been commendable! We’re still waiting on some of these projects, but if you happen to know anyone in the Panda, Elephant, Oil Spill or Hurricane business, we’d love to contact them!