News and Events

Thanks Kingston - You Rock!

Written by Shawn Hughes on . Posted in News and Events

A huge thank you to our conference coordinators, Anne Smith and Brenda Scarlett, for their incredible dedication and a terrific 2018 OAGEE Spring Conference in Kingston.  

We started the day with a fantastic forest therapy tour through the relaxed atmosphere of the wetlands and surrounding forest at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area. A Kingston Transit bus transported us to our next destination. En route, Dan Hendry, Sustainable Initiative Co-ordinator with the Limestone District School Board, spoke to us about a very successful initiative that provides every student with free transit. Essentially, they seek to change the culture by teaching young people how to use public transit and that it’s “OK to ride the bus”. Our bus arrive at the Miller Museum of Geology at Queen’s University, where we explored an enormous collection of the Earth’s rocks, minerals, fossils, dinosaur exhibit, and received an overview of the geological history of the Kingston area. Mark Badham, Miller Museum of Geology Curator, demonstrated his deep appreciation for geology and provided us with a guided field excursion to rock outcrops in Kingston and the surrounding areas.

“It's a cliche, but every rock tells a story," Badham said. "You can really learn a lot about the history of an area just by the types of rocks that are there. A lot of people still don't realize how many things they use during the day that have mineral components in them. If something didn't come from a plant or an animal, it had to be mined somewhere. That's our source of raw materials.

They [students] don't see it all the time, but their lives depend on the resources we get from the earth."



2018 OAGEE Spring Conference Coordinators, Brenda Scarlett and Anne Smith, at the Miller Museum on Star Wars Day: May the 4th Be With You!













GIS in Education and Research Conference

Written by Shawn Hughes on . Posted in News and Events

This conference brings together approximately 500 members of the higher education, research, and K-12 education communities. This year the conference will include more hands on workshops, led by Esri Canada staff, and special interest group meetings to encourage networking, as well as a number of presentation sessions.
This year’s keynote will be delivered by Dr. Cynthia Brewer, Chair of Geography at Penn State University, internationally known and leading cartographic researcher, and developer of the widely used ColorBrewer colour picker that can be run directly from inside ArcGIS Desktop.
Registration information is below:
Location: University of Toronto, Hart House
Date: October 11th, 2017
Lunch: Provided
Cost: $15
Should you require additional information, please contact Sarah Taylor at 705-748-4861, Ext. 178.

Happy Birthday Gary!

Written by Shawn Hughes on . Posted in News and Events

Happy Birthday to Gary Birchall 

— a long time, dedicated, passionate geographer and my personal hero!

Gary Birchall has contributed literally a lifetime’s worth of work towards the betterment of Geographic and Environmental Education. It has been almost 50 years since Gary graduated from McMaster University with an Honours Degree in Geography! Gary is a leading voice and activist for geography and geographers in Ontario as he has been the editor of the OAGEE journal, The Monograph, for the almost 30 years. Gary has worked tirelessly and dedicated countless hours to provide current and relevant teaching strategies and resources for teachers across the province.

Previously, Gary has been awarded:

  • Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education - Award of Distinction
  • The OAGEE Award of Distinction is presented to an Ontario Educator who is passionate about and exemplifies great Geographic education within the Province of Ontario. 
  • The Royal Canadian Geographical Society – College of Fellows
  • All the nominees are extraordinary men and women who believe in the Society and are dedicated to informing Canadians and the world about this country.

Happy 75th Gary! You’re not allowed to retire yet….we need you! smiley



The Canadian Geographic Challenge

Written by Shawn Hughes on . Posted in News and Events

The Can Geo Challenge is a great program that gets students excited about learning geography and the world around them. Here are 5 reasons why teachers across Canada love participating, and why you should too.

  1. It is free!
  2. It is available in French and English.
  3. Teachers can choose how to administer the challenge. This year, we are offering three ways students can participate in the challenge; online, downloaded as a pdf or use a projector to display the questions.
  4. All school winners receive a medal, certificate and a one-year subscription to Canadian Geographic.
  5. It’s connected to your curriculum. Our updated questions allow students to explore topics from basic map reading skills to physical landforms, human interactions and global communities.

For more information visit

The Critical Thinking Consortium - Grade 7 Geography unit

Written by Shawn Hughes on . Posted in News and Events

Ontario Inquiry-pac Grade 7 Geography unit
Physical Patterns in a Changing World

Are you searching for a way to engage students in realistic yet hopeful discussions about our physical environments and the changing patterns created by human impact?

This package of dynamic online resources provides everything you need to implement the new Ontario grade 7 geography strand A curriculum through exciting, ongoing inquiry with your students. Including 17 lessons and all required teacher and student materials, this unit guides students in considering the overarching question: How should we respond to our changing Earth? The ongoing critical challenge for students throughout the unit is to create a compelling multi-media “message to the world” to communicate powerful ideas and inspiring examples that will help us respond sustainably to our changing Earth. The broad understandings nurtured include:

  • Humans have always lived in response to Earth’s physical patterns.
  • The physical world is changing because of natural and human activity.
  • The global community can learn to respond sustainably to the opportunities and challenges presented by our changing environment.

TC2 worked for over a year to develop a cascading curriculum plan that incorporates the curriculum expectations and highlights current and relevant geographic issues and themes.  In addition, TC2 is committed to incorporating more First Nations, Metis and Inuit perspectives into the unit.