Trading Books for Boats in Bonne Bay has been offered to students in the Bonne Bay area and Gulf of St. Lawrence since 2005. The intent of the program is to provide students with a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, water quality.
This topic is an important component of the Grade 8 Science Curriculum.
The experiential program takes place at Bonne Bay Aquarium & Research Station in Norris Point with the support of the Faculty of Science at Memorial University.
The program is designed to cover the length of a school day, starting with a presentation covering necessary background information and the plan for the day. Each class is then split in half, with one group of students being directed to a charter boat for an exploration of Bonne Bay, the other group remains in the Public Aquarium to complete a series of learning stations.
Student groups are reversed for the afternoon session. All students gather for a wrap-up and feedback session at the end of the day.
Once aboard BonTours "Bonne Bay Breeze," students learn about the formation of Bonne Bay, and how to read a marine chart. Students take measurements of salinity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and turbidity.
Data is recorded and will be entered into a spreadsheet made available to all schools through the Bonne Bay Aquarium & Research Station website.
Students also collect live plankton for observation under the microscope using a plankton trawl.
Laboratory and Aquarium Learning
In the Aquarium, component students rotate through several learning stations covering topics such as tidal movements, plankton, salinity, and the effects of over-fishing.
They will learn to read charts, interpret diagrams, conduct experiments, and answer workbook questions relating to each topic. Most of the stations contain an interactive hands-on component to the experiments.
This program was developed by the Bonne Bay Aquarium & Research Station, Faculty of Science, Memorial University; Community-University Research for Recovery Alliance (CURRA); ACAP Humber Arm Environmental Association Inc. and The Oceans Learning Partnership, and is run in conjuction with the Newfoundland English School District, and BonTours.