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School Watch

Green Spaces as Learning Places

What is School Watch?

School Watch is a program where teachers learn how to lead citizen science projects with their students on school grounds. We deliver free teacher PD on curriculum-linked environmental projects such as tree inventories and bird surveys. This project allows students to contribute meaningful data while learning about ecosystem health, positive actions and environmental science in the community. Materials are focused on grades 6-12, but can be adapted for younger students.  


School Watch Guide

School Watch GuideThe School Watch Guide is a resource to help teachers lead outdoor citizen science activities with students.

This teacher* resource includes a step-by-step guide to conducting citizen science research with students on school grounds, citizen science projects, and additional information to help you get started. It is free for educational use. Find pollinators, measure tree canopy, map habitat, and more!

The School Watch Guide opens as a pdf document in a new window.


School Watch Workshops

School Watch workshops are in-person opportunities for teachers to learn about the activities and citizen science projects featured in the School Watch Guide. At teacher* workshops, we provide: 

  1. Hands-on resources for animating school ground greening projects
  2. Exposure to and training on different kinds of citizen science projects
  3. Follow-up staff support to plan and co-lead an outdoor education lesson with EcoSpark
  4. Opportunities to earn points towards your EcoSchools certification!

Spring 2018 School Watch workshops are complete. Please check back later for future opportunities.

Tour of the School Watch Guide

 This prezi presentation takes teachers on a tour through the School Watch Guide and provides a simple introduction on how to effectively use the guide.  

School Watch Webinar

The School Watch Webinar (recorded live May 22nd, 2018) introduces teachers* to engaging citizen science projects that students can do outside on school grounds.

School Watch Webinar

View the School Watch Webinar

The webinar provides: 
  1. Links to online resources for animating school ground greening projects
  2. Exposure to and training on different kinds of citizen science projects
  3. Examples of citizen science activities teachers can plan with students

*While designed for teachers, the School Watch Guide, webinar and workshops (space permitting) are suitable for anyone interested in connecting kids with outdoor education.

For more information about School Watch, please contact:
Dana Buchbinder, Citizen Science Coordinator 
[email protected]
647-258-3280 x 2003

Thank you for your interest in School Watch! We hope to see you outside!


This project would not be possible without the generous financial support from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and in-kind support from the York Region District School Board and Toronto District School Board Sustainability Office/EcoSchools.

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