Contest: Your Solution to Plastic Pollution

Hey, students (& Teachers)!

(Teachers – we also have free resources to help you incorporate YRE into your lesson plans this year.)

The world has a big plastic pollution problem on its hands. And there’s a creative way for you to be part of the solution.

Environmental Defence’s Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) Canada program has just launched its annual eco-journalism competition for youth. The theme for this year’s competition is: Your Solution to Plastic Pollution.

Promo image for Environmental Defence's national eco-journalism competition for youth

For the competition, Canadian youth (ages 11-14 and 15-18) are invited to investigate solutions to plastic pollution in their communities, and share what they found through photography, videography, or writing. The deadline for this year’s competition is March 30, 2018.

Winners will be published by Alternatives Journal magazine. First place winners in each category will go on to compete in the International Young Reporters for the Environment Competition, run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

Plastic pollution is getting out of control

Plastic pollution on a beach
Photo credit: Cristina Bergman


Plastic pollution is one of the fastest growing problems on the planet. Here’s a quick look at how big this problem really is:

The good news is that there are solutions. So, grab a camera and/or your notebook, and head out into your community and start exploring.

Tips to help you get started

Not sure of how to get started with your story? We can help! We have lots of great free resources on our website to help you craft your plastic pollution stories, including handbooks and instructional videos.

Visit to learn more. And good luck!

P.S. Teachers – we also have free resources to help you incorporate YRE into your lesson plans this year.


The Museum – Maker Space Challenges

Students will learn by doing through experimentation, exploration and by ‘failing’ forward in unique 75 minute workshops delivered in our one-of-a-kind MakerSpace. Take part in projects across one of seven core program streams: 3D Modeling, Computer Programming, Circuitry & Soldering, Woodworking, Screenprinting, Textiles, or Deconstruction. Each program is linked to Ontario Curriculum expectations with an emphasis on inquiry-based learning and developing critical thinking skills.

It All Starts Here.


Through proper use of hand and power tools for woodworking, students will cut, drill and fasten materials to measured specifications for the design of a tool box.


Students will create digital circuits that carry out a specific task while considering electrical principles such as voltage, current and resistance. Students will complete the workshop by soldering a circuit together as a take home badge.


Students will learn about the engineering design process to consider a simple challenge by deconstructing found objects using tools and methods provided. They will then be tasked with assembling a unique object that fulfills an imagined function.


Introduce your students to computer programming in a visual environment using the Scratch platform. Interpret how different logical statements change how a system behaves and experiment with different sensory commands to see what programs are capable of doing.


Challenge your students to create a program using the Arduino platform that causes lights to blink. Students will learn about the relationship between hardware and software by wiring systems together. Finally, students will decode a message in ASCII with the help from our robot Nali!


Using traditional screen printing methods, students will create and cut a custom design from heat transfer vinyl and transfer their design onto fabric.


The Museum – Theme Weeks


November 6 – November 10, 2017
Challenge your students to a day of interactive S.T.E.M activities and workshops. Make, tinker, build, and connect with professionals from Waterloo Region’s tech sector to showcase the potential of pursuing S.T.E.M based careers!

It all starts here.


March 26 – March 29, 2018
Stories unite us. They come from traditions of the wampum weavers and oral storytellers sharing tales of Turtle Island. But they are also being explored by emerging Aboriginal artists. Students have a unique opportunity to learn about storytelling, traditions, and the rich culture of Canadian First Nations communities.

MEDIEVAL WEEK – Grade 4 Social Studies

April 30 – May 3, 2018
Hear ye! Hear ye! Students will be immersed in unique hands-on medieval activities and workshops as we travel back to medieval times. Students will participate in a variety of workshops to experience the challenges, intrigue and excitement of living during Medieval times – all led by in-character facilitators!


The Museum -Education Programs


Unleash your inner artist and explore the world of colour! Investigate how artists use colour, texture, shape, and line to suggest different ideas, feelings, and messages through their art. Learn how to dot, dash, and swirl like the masters and then use your imagination to complete a colour-filled art challenge.


Explore the night sky and blast off into outer space in our Star Lab planetarium. Discover planets, moons, stars, and satellites while uncovering the relationship between humans and our solar system. End the visit by launching your very own rocket in our atrium!


Investigate solar power and energy conservation through a series of hands-on activities and learn the importance of our sun.


Meet KiM, our Kids in Motion mascot, and learn about different parts of the body in this interactive program. Move and groove to get your hearts pumping before learning about healthy foods while enjoying a fruit smoothie.


Harness the power of electricity! Explore the different types of circuits through hands on activities. Then use our littleBits library to see how electricity travels and brings things to life through light, sound or motion.


THEMUSEUM needs your help! Use teamwork and inquiry skills to solve mysteries throughout THEMUSEUM to figure out ‘who did it’!


Discover the respiratory, circulatory, and digestive systems in your body in this highly interactive program. Create working models of each system and take a look at a real pig lung!


Take your class on an out-of-this-world trip in our planetarium. Understand planets, moons, stars, and satellites, travel through space, and uncover mysteries of our solar system.


Calling all builders! Learn about the impact natural disasters have on our buildings and structures by taking on the challenge of creating structures strong enough to withstand the effects of different disasters. See which ones will stay standing and which ones will come crumbling down.


Explore the impact of Mother Nature on our planet and society. Students will play THEMUSEUM’s original board game Disaster Strikes! to understand how communities around the world cope with the devastation caused by natural disasters. Find out if your city can survive Nature Unleashed!


Do-gooders unite! Explore the powers of light in our super heroes in training program. Learn how to harness the properties of light to create your own superhero gadgets.

2017 Kids Art Contest – Amphibians & Reptiles

frogs-are_green-header-20151Calling all children ages 3-17!

Announcing the 8th Annual Kids Art Contest! Hosted by Frogs Are Green.

We will award winners in these age groups: 3-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13-17. We also add categories based on what we receive, such as:

  • (Best Student/Elder Collaboration; Best 3D;
  • Most Unusual;
  • Best Environmental;
  • Best Black and White.
  • Awards are given to 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place and honorable mention for each age group.

Deadline for submissions is December 15, 2017 and the winners will be announced by January 31, 2018. The winners will be featured in a blog post. Many of the submitted artworks are shared online, through our website, social media and in awareness materials. (By entering, you grant Frogs Are Green permission to use your artwork. Credit to artists will be included.)

This year, the 1st place winners in each age group will receive these prizes (so far!): The custom designed Frogs Are Green” Strawesome glass straw; their winning artwork on a t-shirt provided by Big Frog Custom Shirts; and Frogs Are Green‘s newest books.

This years theme is… Amphibians & Reptiles!

Yes, children can draw any amphibian or reptile! Turtles, salamanders, frogs, snakes, lizards, and more! They can also draw rainforests, ponds, wildlife in trees or water, or how they feel about climate change, pollution, deforestation, drought, natural habitats, etc… and how you (or all of us) can help the environment. Here are a few links to provide much need information and photos for reference:

2017 poster design with featured 2016 winning artworks from the top: Vanessa Qiu, Geethma Tashani Thalangama, Minju Kim.

2017 kids art contest hosted by Frogs Are Green. Design by Susan Newman.

The Canadian Fluid Power Challenge

competition_tmbThe Canadian Fluid Power Challenge is intended to provide Grade 7 and 8 students with hands-on experience building a controlled mechanism with real world applicability and to open their eyes and those of their teachers to technology careers and, in particular, careers in fluid power.

The Challenge is an excellent complement to the science and technology curriculum at these grade levels.

At a minimum, the organizers hope that the Challenge will encourage students to select more mathematics and science courses in their high school programs to keep their options open for technology-based post-secondary studies.

The CFPA currently sponsors two types of Fluid Power Challenges.

The National Canadian Fluid Power Challenge, which is just being launched for a 2017 debut will allow teams of students from anywhere in Canada to participate.  Their efforts will be judged against submissions from across the country.  For more details about the National Challenge click here.

The first Local Fluid Power Challenge was held in Toronto in 2001 and, with a few interruptions beyond the CFPA’s control, has been held annually ever since.  A similar Challenge was held in Edmonton for a few years but is presently dormant at that location. For more details about the Local Challenges click here.

Be a STEM Program Champion

We are offering three levels of sponsorship for our new National Challenge:
• Platinum Sponsor $5000
• Gold Sponsor $1000
• Silver Sponsor $500

As a sponsor, your company or organization will be visible to parents, teachers, students and the general public in various ways including logos on communications, t-shirts, signage, media releases, websites and social media with the details varying depending on the level of your sponsorship.

Contact to learn more.