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Programs|  Education
Changing Our Future


The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation has completed its second education kit for elementary schools. Entitled "Changing Our Future", The Great Lakes and Climate Change, this kit targets the Grade 7 Science and Technology, Geography and Language curricula.


The kit, in a multi-media format provides teachers with the tools necessary to teach students about the fundamental concepts of climate change and its implications to the Great Lakes region.



This Educational Resources Kit is available by email directly from the Centre. It is available free of charge to educators in Ontario.


Each Kit  include:

  1. A convenient 3-ringed binder which includes teacher's notes, student resource sheets and a wide variety of classroom activities;

  2. Field trip outlines;

  3. Curriculum connections and sample rubrics;

  4. Colour overheads;

  5. Comprehensive glossary of climate change terms;

  6. A compact disk with a graphical slide show, additional resource documents and a set of graphical images for use in the classroom.

Student and Teacher Resources


The following links supplement the education resources kit produced by the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation. The links have been organized to correspond with the sections in the kit.


Section 1 - Natural Climate History

Section 2 - Human Influence on Climate Change


Section 3 - Impacts to Ecosystems

Section 4 - Impacts to Communities

Section 5 - Changing Attitudes


Teacher Resources

Student and Teacher Resources
Curriculum Connections
Curriculum Connections


Grade 7 Subject Areas and Strands





Science & Technology, Geography, Language, Mathematics



By W.S. Fyfe

Emeritus Professor

Department of Earth Sciences

The University of Western Ontario

London, Ontario  Canada


It is a great honour to write this small piece relating to the work of the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation, ‘Great Lakes and Climate Change’.


I visit many of our schools in Ontario and meet students at all levels. Our young people are concerned about the future. Unlike many of our leaders in politics and business, they will be here in fifty years (I hope!). We are living in a new world. As the former British Ambassador to the United Nations recently wrote: “It would be nice to think that the solutions to some of our present problems could be drawn from past experience, but in this case the past is a poor guide to the future. Our current situation is unique.” After the birth of Jesus Christ, it took 1700 years to double the human population. The population has doubled twice since then,


Our environment is changing rapidly. We have changed the chemistry of the atmosphere and that change has led to climate change at a rate never seen before. recently, the famous British Journal, the New Scientist, published a supplement on the Global Environment called Judgement Day. Among the topics discussed was the statement “In the second half of the 20th century, the Earth lost 300,000 species. Humanity has created its own mass extinction.”


What are our life support systems which determine our quality of life, heatlth, etc.?


They include:

  • Clean air to breathe

  • Clean water to drink

  • Quality food, which depends on climate, soil, water quality and biodiversity. Biodiversity is necessary for security so that we can live through climate fluctuations, etc.

  • Intelligent management of our waste production, reduction of wastes

  • Clean energy, and in many parts of the advanced world, energy is going solar (e.g. Sweden, Germany)

  • Clean cities


We are fortunate in Canada. We are not overpopulated and we have space. While our population is going urban (77%), we are always near nature. We have vast resources of all types.


There is a great question we all must consider. Will I leave the planet in better condition for future generations than when I arrived? For my generation, the generation of 1900-2000, the answer is “no, we have been careless.”


I have a dream, a hope, that we can use our schools and young people at all levels, to monitor change. Our schools should become, in part, natural observatories (monitor climate, rain quantity, biodiversity - plants, animals, microorganisms, soil quality and erosion, bioproduction, etc.) And if you do this, you learn science (chemistry, physics, geology, biology, mathematics...) We must monitor change of all types in our parks, etc., where there is minimal human disturbance, and we must monitor our towns and villages and the changes in them and their surroundings (including health).We must reduce waste, and if we do we will save money (for example, in much of modern Europe, there are no plastic bags in the supermarkets)!


It is interesting that the wonderful British Journal, The Ecologist, this year (2001), published a little book for schools called “Go M.A.D.”, which means Go Make A Difference. It has wonderful examples of how we can improve our environment and save money! I want us to produce another book of that type, “Go O.N” - Go Observe Nature.


I congratulate all involved in the production of “Changing Our Future”. It is a model of what we need, for Canadians must better understand their life support systems. We must take care of ournation and our planet!


Professor W. S. Fyfe, C.C., PhD, F.R.C.S.

Professor Emeritus

Department of Earth Sciences

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