Ontario Government Brings the Outdoors to the Classroom

Archived Release

Ontario Government Brings the Outdoors to the Classroom

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Launches Nature Education Website TORONTO, Jan. 13 - The Ontario government is helping young people learn about the province's natural environment and discover Ontario's great outdoors with the launch of an interactive website, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today. "Campsite24 features exciting interactive games and activities that make it fun for young people to learn about environmental protection, plants and wildlife, and Ontario's magnificent provincial parks," said Ramsay. The Ontario Parks' website is also a handy resource for teachers, complete with ready-to-print lesson plans, activity sheets and background information. All content is based on Ontario's curriculum guidelines for grades two to six. Website users can navigate through the online campsite and take part in a scavenger hunt, zooming through a provincial park on a 3-D adventure while searching for wasps' nests, old cross-cut saws, binoculars, wolf tracks and much more. The site's visitor centre offers a virtual resource library full of activities, games and information for a school project or for fun. The ParkPals section features interactive games that explore nature. "Teachers will find the site user-friendly, with lessons and print-outs ready to use in the classroom," said Jennifer Baron, teacher at the Sibbald Point Outdoor Education Centre. "Both teachers and students will really enjoy the way Campsite24 blends the curriculum with natural heritage education, and presents activities that are fun, interactive and educational." Visit Campsite24 at www.campsite24.ca or www.OntarioParks.com and click on either the kids' or teachers' link. Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- CAMPSITE24 WEBSITE Campsite24 is an interactive, educational website designed to help young people learn about Ontario's provincial parks and natural resources, and the importance of a healthy natural environment. The website is also an excellent resource for teachers, complete with ready-to-use lesson plans and activity sheets for grades two to six. Features for students --------------------- - ParkPals: Students can learn about amphibians, birds, reptiles, mammals, insects, fish, wildflowers and trees through the park pals feature. - Visitor Centre: The virtual visitor centre includes a resource library full of activities and information that may come in handy for a school project or just for general knowledge. - Time Machine: Students embark on an exciting adventure through time to visit and analyse objects from four different time periods. - Scavenger Hunt: Students zoom through parks on a 3-D adventure to test their sleuthing skills while they search for items such as a wasps' nests, an old cross-cut saw, binoculars or wolf tracks. The search provides a learning experience about all the things that can be found in provincial parks. - SuperIntendent (coming soon): The park is set to open, but a whole list of tasks needs to be completed before visitors arrive. The student plays the role of superintendent, and must restore habitat for species at risk, set up an interpretive trail, get rid of invasive plants and open up a campground - before time runs out. Features for teachers --------------------- The teacher's section has lesson plans focused on Ontario Parks themes of nature, culture and recreation. Teachers can click on specific grades and topics and choose from a variety of engaging, ready-to-print lesson plans, activity sheets and background information. Campsite24 is available in French and English. Disponible en fran├žais www.mnr.gov.on.ca www.OntarioParks.comFor further information: Media calls only, Ginette Albert, Minister's Office, (416) 314-2212; Steve Payne, Ministry of Natural Resources, (416) 314-2103; Ron Speck, Ministry of Natural Resources, (705) 755-1720