Nova Scotia youth and teachers discover oceans and shipbuilding opportunities

It is not every day that grade seven and eight students discuss buoyancy, stability or seaworthiness. But on November 23, hundreds of students, teachers, innovators, and ocean enthusiasts in Halifax, Nova Scotia did just that as part of Our Ocean Playground, a forum for students and teachers to better understand our oceans and the opportunities they provide.

Experts from industry and academia guided students and teachers through hands-on, interactive experiences that explored technology, innovation, and opportunities related to our oceans. The daylong event worked to foster a deep connection between students and the world of oceanography, aquaculture, marine renewable energy, optics and acoustics, and, of course, shipbuilding and boatbuilding.

Our Ocean Playground was created by the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE), alongside Big Data Alliance of Nova Scotia and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD), and support by private sector organizations like Irving Shipbuilding.

“Our intention is really to help make it easy for teachers to integrate ocean concepts into the big ideas that they are designing their lessons around. We’re also helping them to convey the regional context that they can use as an anchor,” said Dr. Sherry Scully, Director of Learning and Organizational Development for IORE.  “Ocean science and technology are more than interesting – they contribute to our urban and rural economies and communities, and we are all connected to this industry – regardless of how far we may be from the coastline. It’s hard not to be engaged by concepts that have such regional history and present-day relevance.”

The shipbuilding and boat building workshop introduced a variety of topics such as buoyancy, stability, seaworthiness, and the use of specific materials for a number of different vessels. Ship models helped students see how the use of specific materials is critical during the ship design and construction phases.

“To develop a sustainable marine and shipbuilding industry in Canada we need to start educating and engaging with the workforce of the future – our youth,” said Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding. “It is through initiatives like Our Ocean Playground that youth will better understand future careers paths and how they can focus their studies to prepare for those opportunities.”

Irving Shipbuilding is supporting Our Ocean Playground through its investments in the Marine People Partnership and the Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence at the Nova Scotia Community College

                                                                                                                                                              November 24, 2016


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