Skip to content

Donation to Sidney aquarium looks to inspire future solutions

Science toolkit to help connect youth with local ecosystems

The Rotary Club of Sidney by the Sea has donated $1,000 to the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea to purchase a microplastics community science toolkit.

The toolkit will support ocean literacy and STEM education across the Capital Regional District.

“We have a real passion to work with the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea because of our new involvement with environmental initiatives,” Rotary club president Glenn Moore said. “They are right in our backyard. We feel like this is a good partnership.”

The centre will use the kit during school programs and summer camps with the goal of connecting young people to their local ocean ecosystems through nature-based education and technology.

Leah Thorpe, director of exhibits and engagement, thanked Rotary for the donation. “We are really excited for this opportunity. This feels like an issue that will really speak to young people. We like to give them something that they can take action on. This is a great opportunity to bring some new technology in and dig into the science with our young people.”

Students will learn about microplastic pollution and its effects on local ecosystems and how to identify sources, impacts and solutions.

“I think youth are the solution to the future challenges that we are having with the environment,” Moore said. “If we can support the education side of this initiative, then we will have more ambassadors for the ocean. We are happy when that happens.”

The kit includes beach sampling activities, imaging technology and data evaluation tools.

Victoria clean technology company Ocean Diagnostics designed the toolkit to help improve environmental issues such as plastic pollution.

“The technology took a while to develop,” Ocean Diagnostics marketing director Ashleigh Erwin said. “We’re a small team, and we have engineers that work on it all the time.”

ALSO READ: Sidney creates fund for Indigenous initiatives and events