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Multimedia educational project films in Labrador to inspire next generation of scientists | CBC News


With the National Film Board’s Ocean School filming in Nunatsiavut this year, Labrador students may soon see their own region on their classroom screens. 

Ocean School, a co-production between the Ocean Frontier Institute and the National Film Board, is a free multimedia education resource for teachers to use, focused on the ocean.

An all-female team filmed in Nain, Hopedale and Postville in April to create videos for Labrador students. 

“We went up and we tagged along with some scientists that were doing ice field work and monitoring the ice,” said Ocean School producer Emily Sheepy.

“And we also interviewed folks not just about the science, but about the cultural importance of ice and water and climates to local people.”

A group of people stand around an ice hold with one person controling a device on a small monitor just above the hole.
The Ocean School team filming in Nunatsiavut captured a number of research projects as well as cultural activities. (Ocean School)

Ocean School has partnered with a Dalhousie University project, Sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures, to plan an educational package focused on the needs of Nunatsiavut schools.

“We live on the land, live on the water, we rely on it for hunting and food sources, and it’s also a means of travel in the winter time,” said Ocean School youth host Veronica Flowers.

“There’s a lot of work being done on it and that collaboration between scientists and local people is really important.… It was really cool to see it come together like that and I’m excited to see what it’s going to turn out to be.”

A man holds a seal pelt out in front of him while a young woman looks at it.
Ocean School youth host Veronica Flowers talked to a number of Nunatsiavut residents about their way of life and crafts related to the ocean. (Ocean School)

The climate is changing in the ocean and ice around Nunatsiavut. A number of projects are underway to monitor the change, including the recent expansion of a community-based monitoring program called SmartICE. 

Hakai Institute videographer Kat Pyne said the project was the first time she’d sent a remotely operated vehicle under the ice to see all the critters living on the sea floor. The team also listened to sounds under the ice with hydrophones. 

A group of dogs pull ropes connected to the front of a sled.
The Ocean School recorded dog-sledding while their team was in Nunatsiavut in April. (Ocean School)

“Every day in the field kind of started like Ski-Dooing out to wherever our location was and it was just really cool,” Pyne said. 

“On the sort of cultural side, we also got to do some really fun things like dog sledding.… We got to watch Veronica and her brother Nicholas prepare a seal skin to make slippers from start to finish, and, I mean, that was just such an amazing thing to observe.”

A woman holds up her hands covered in blood while smiling. Another person peels back layers of fat from a seal.
Ocean School also recorded people skinning a seal and preparing its meat for food and skin for crafts. (Ocean School)

More filming is set to take place this fall. The project will then be shared with the communities who participated and the people who were featured to get feedback. The final product will be accessible for free on Ocean School’s website.

“It’s going to be really good for the school system up here, for kids to have access to and I hope that young people can realize that anyone can do research,” Flowers said. “Anything is possible.” 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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