Thu. Dec 7th, 2023
Join us for Scientific Literacy Week 2022

Today’s blog comes from Jessica Stillman, School Outreach Coordinator at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words: count, measure, weigh and calculate?

For us it is connection!

Did you think about math?

This isn’t surprising, but what might be is how much mathematics is used every day to understand, protect and manage the more than 330 provincial parks that make up Ontario’s parks system.

staff looking through binoculars

Within these parks are examples of Ontario’s diverse range of natural and cultural history. To protect all of these unique stories, Ontario Park staff uses a lot of MATH.

So why does counting, measuring, weighing and calculating make us think about connection?

Well, without it, Ontario Parks wouldn’t be able to connect you to all the amazing places, wildlife and adventures Ontario has to offer. Math helps make your visit more comfortable, allows staff to create unique experiences, and protects the living things that call each park home.

staff conducting research

Even if the math that happens inside a park isn’t obvious, trust us, it’s there! Ontario Parks is proud to share something with you this year for Scientific Literacy Week.

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What is Scientific Literacy Week?

#SciLit Week is September 19-25 and showcases the diversity of Canadian science and how it is shaping our lives.

scientific literacy week banner

It is an opportunity for museums, libraries, science centers, schools, non-profit organizations and parks come together to highlight everyone’s unique relationship with science.

The theme for this year’s #SciLit Week is “M is for Math,” and if you haven’t discovered it yet, Ontario Parks is getting ready to share examples of math at work in the parks.

How can I participate?

Our Discovery staff has curated some amazing Science Literacy Week activities.

Whether you’re learning in a classroom or from home, we’re eager to share stories of math at work in the parks.

We are excited to offer two live events:

How does Pinery habitat compare?

30 minutes. Wednesday, September 21 at 10:30 a.m.

Red-headed woodpecker

Join researcher Victoria Pepe and educator Nicole Benn to observe some of the habitats at Pinery Provincial Park and use geometry and forestry equipment to assess habitat quality for the endangered red-headed woodpecker.

The mathematics shown in this program is appropriate for grade 9+.

This is a Facebook Live event.

It will be streamed on Pinery’s Facebook page and available as a recording after the show.

Harnessing the power of simple machines

45 minutes. Thursday, September 22 at 10:00 a.m.

staff with apple cider press

It’s harvest season at Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s Spruce Lane Farm, which means it’s time to turn apples into apple cider.

See how a Victorian-era cider presser does this job and explore the simple machines that help make this job easier. See how math makes apple cider during this live demo.

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The mathematics shown in this program is appropriate for grade 2+.

Registration is required to attend this Zoom Live event.

A recording of the live event will be available on the Bronte Creek Facebook page following the show.

Exploring on your own?

Check out our self-guided activities and other Science Literacy Week programs:

Science Literacy Week may only happen once a year, but math and science happen year-round at Ontario Parks!

There are many different ways you can support the scientific initiatives taking place in nearby parks.

Submitting sightings to park staff, volunteering on park projects, or participating in self-use monitoring programs such as Pinery’s Photomon stations or bat detector programs are great ways to contribute to science in the parks.

person taking photos of a plant

We can’t forget one of our favorite ways visitors can participate in community science: iNaturalist!

Do you see something interesting?

Submit your sightings in the app to be identified. Your observations help park staff better understand the park’s biodiversity and the location of critical habitats.

Share your work!

Mathematics is everywhere. This Scientific Literacy Week, let’s learn more about it!

Whether you tune in to one of our workshops or learn on your own, we hope you take the time to learn a little more about our protected areas.

Sharing your park math story? Tag us in your #SciLitWeek learning using @OntarioParks.

Learn more about how to connect your classroom with an Ontario Parks staff member!