From left, Tara Willard, School District #83 Indigenous education worker, teacher Sue Whitehead, Molly Cooperman and Brenda Melnychuk of the Adams River Salmon Society pose with Grade 6/7 students and their entry into the How Can We Help the Salmon Come Home contest. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Shuswap society hosts BC contest about helping salmon spawn

Adams River Salmon Society’s contest inviting students’ ideas draws entries from across province

This fall, students from across the province were invited to share their ideas on how to make it easier for migrating salmon to return to their spawning grounds.

Molly Cooperman joined the board of The Adams River Salmon Society last year and created a contest to coincide with the 2018 Salute to the Sockeye.

“I designed the contest in response to the state of our salmon and with the intention of getting youth more involved,” she says, noting the contest also comes at a time when there are changes in the BC school curriculum that promote hands-on, investigative learning. “A lot of teachers are coming on board with inquiry projects that usually pose essential questions which the students can research.”

Cooperman says the question chosen for the contest that was developed in two categories – individual and classroomwas “How can we help the salmon come home?”

Related: Many visitors make their way to Shuswap’s Salute to the Sockeye

She says 6,000 students attended the DFO (Fisheries Canada) program at Tsutswecw Park during Salute to the Sockeye to learn about salmon and she wanted to have the contest available for teachers to promote further learning. It was also available to home-schooled students.

Cooperman says her contest received excellent sponsorship from businesses and individuals, allowing the salmon society to award prizes to top-rated projects.

“Classes were awarded $500 towards a field trip to encourage kids to get outside, which is what I am all about,” she says, pointing out there were more than 100 entries, including 80 students from Collingwood School in West Vancouver. “They came up with some really good solutions and ideas, mostly focused on deforestation, fish farming, over-fishing and a few of them talked about dams and a way to get past them.”

At Shuswap Middle School, teachers Sue Whitehead and Bev Dewitt combined their 6/7 classes and the Grade 6 students created a mural while integrating Indigenous knowledge into the project, showing how people are connected to the salmon and how important it is for Indigenous culture, says Cooperman, noting she and an Indigenous knowledge keeper both visited the class.

Related: Thousands take in Salute to Sockeye

“The Grade 7s at Shuswap Middle School really took on the inquiry idea and mostly in groups of two, took one of the problems, researched more and a lot of them created PowerPoints or posters in a lot of similar topics to the Grade 9s at Collingwood,” she says of the contest that was set up to include posters, art pieces, videos and any other medium.

Christine Williams’ Bastion Grade 2/3 students focused on how, in their regular life, they could make changes to help salmon, after visiting the Salute to the Sockeye and making what Cooperman describes as beautiful, individual artwork.

Two “quite amazing” videos were submitted: École Christine Morrison in Mission, connecting with Indigenous people similar to the middle school, and Pemberton Home Learners visited the Salute to the Sockeye on a camping trip.

“In their video, they looked at the importance of salmon, problems and solutions and something really cool, they went back to Pemberton and created a model of their watershed using moss and rocks,” Cooperman says, noting the students of the school at Sun Peaks wrote a song, mostly about the salmon life cycle.

Two local students also created impressive projects: Dayton Massey, a Grade 11 Salmon Arm Secondary student decorated his skis with salmon and Shuswap Middle School Grade 6 student Cole Buckmeir created art around the issue of oil pollution in our oceans and waterways.

“I am a little overwhelmed with results; when I see the amazing things students have come up with, it’s really good, it’s worth all the effort.”

And the contest is likely to continue as Cooperman says it fits in with the direction in which members of The Adams River Salmon Society board would like to go.


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jaeden Izik-Dzurko from Salmon Arm is featured on Virtually VRS, the Vancouver Recital Society’s online concert series. (Vancouver Recital Society image)
Salmon Arm pianist featured in Vancouver society’s first online concert series

Salmon Arm Secondary alumni Jaeden Izik-Dzurko continues to amaze

City council hears what a success Salmon Arm’s first Pride Project Arts & Awareness Festival on Oct. 14 to 18, 2020 was. (Caytlin Mary Photography photo)
First Salmon Arm Pride Festival evokes gratitude, emotion from city council

Presenters describe how festival celebrating LGBTQ2S+ community changed lives

Salmon Arm mayor Alan Harrison receives the ceremonial first poppy from Harry Welton of the Salmon Arm Legion on Wednesday, Oct. 28. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm mayor Alan Harrison receives the ceremonial first poppy from Harry Welton of the Salmon Arm Legion on Wednesday, Oct. 28. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm residents encouraged to observe Remembrance Day, but not at cenotaph

Pandemic restrictions necessitate small gathering at cenotaph on November 11

Four staff members at the Okanagan Men’s Centre have tested positive for COVID-19 since Oct. 23, 2020. (Adult and Teen Challenge OMC photo)
Four positive COVID-19 cases at Okanagan Men’s Centre

Those affected are staff and have been in isolation since Oct. 23

A radon test kit. (File Photo)
Free radon testing kits available in Sicamous

Kits will help detect the carcinogenic gas found in some homes

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Superintendent of the Kelowna RCMP, Kara Triance. (Capital News file)
Non-violent crime, small population contributes to Kelowna’s crime rate spike, says RCMP

Kelowna RCMP is assuring the public the city is a safe place

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Crime up 31 per cent in Vernon in 2019: Statistics Canada

Increase includes a 45 per cent rise in violent Criminal Code violations

A Tuesday Oct. 27, 2020 apartment fire in Penticton killed two and displaced dozens more. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Fatal Penticton apartment fire deemed accidental

The blaze gutted an apartment building on Tuesday morning, killing two people and displacing dozens

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports seven more COVID-19 cases

Eighty-nine cases remain active, none of whom are currently hospitalized

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Animal care manager Tracy Reynolds confirmed the lynx is the same wildcat that was spotted wandering North Kamloops in broad daylight on Sunday, Oct. 25. BC Wildlife Park.
Lynx found wandering Kamloops taken to BC Wildlife Park

While the lynx’s outward appearance was deemed normal, it actually had an abdominal infection

Most Read