–The following story was written by Taia Goguen-Garner.
A new teaching tool is being developed to help teachers bring real-world fish information to classrooms across Canada. Jacqueline Chapman, a PhD student in the Biology Department at Carleton University has been working with a team of colleagues and professionals to develop AquaTrax.
Explains Chapman: “Aquatrax focuses specifically on telemetry data – data that is collected on fish movement by attaching tags that “ping” their location to either recording devices or satellites. We chose to focus on telemetry because the technology itself and the data that it generates encompasses so many different aspects – physics, mathematics, biology, ecology… the list goes on, while also allowing the incorporation of social science data like links to Indigenous cultures and history.”
“Our modules provide teachers with background information that they need ‒ videos on telemetry, research studies used for lesson modules, and lesson plans for the students.” The data they are using is not only from their work, but also from other members of collaborative research networks, such as the Ocean Tracking Network. They drew on their outreach experience and established relationships from World Fish Migration Day events to create a more formalized school-based program. They then submitted their proposal to NSERC’s PromoScience competition.