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School Watch 

Registration for the 2019-2020 School Season Opens August 5th 2019!

Teacher Training

This is your opportunity to participate in a hands-on workshop to learn about leading citizen science projects with classes on school grounds. EcoSpark presents School Watch teacher training in curriculum-linked environmental monitoring projects such as tree inventories and pollinator surveys. The projects allow students to contribute meaningful data while learning about ecosystem health, positive actions, and environmental science in the community.

Teachers can earn EcoSchool credits and gain hands-on resources for animating school ground greening spaces. At the workshop, teachers participate in citizen science projects to see them in action. Informal educators welcome, space permitting.

Full-day workshops provide comprehensive training in a full suite of citizen science projects selected for school ground learning. Half-day workshops introduce a few outdoor activities to get you started.

All workshop materials are provided. Follow-up support is available for teachers to plan and co-lead an outdoor student session with trained staff. Or, plan your own activities with EcoSpark’s citizen science materials and online resources.

Student Sessions

School Watch student sessions provide K-12 students with an outdoor environmental education experience right on their school grounds.

Students become citizen scientists by making observations of nearby nature. They use EcoSpark's scientific equipment including a class set of professional binoculars, identification guides, and more to collect vital data from gardens, field, and woodlots around your school. Online databases put their research into context. For example, students might observe migrating birds outside, then chart their flights across the continent using online mapping tools.

We provide experienced staff, teacher training resources, and student materials to offer meaningful activities for budding environmental stewards.

We are committed to accommodating the accessibility needs of our participants to the best of our abilities. When registering, please identify any accessibility needs you may have.


Are you a teacher in the GTA? Would you like to engage your students in a citizen science project?

To learn more or if you have any questions about registration, send an email to [email protected]

Workshop Dates

Check this page often as we will update it as new workshop dates become available! Please contact our Citizen Science Coordinator if you are interested in hosting a workshop at your school! Click the above registration link to get more information about what you'll get from a workshop. 

Saturday September 14th 2019 - Half-Day Workshop

9:00AM to 12:00PM

EcoSpark office at Wychwood Barns

601 Christie Street, Unit 174, Toronto, ON 


Wednesday September 25th 2019 - Full-Day Workshop

9:00AM to 2:30PM 

Louise Arbour Secondary School

365 Father Tobin Road, Brampton, ON 


Saturday October 19th 2019 - Half-Day Workshop 

9:00AM to 12:00PM

EcoSpark office at Wychwood Barns

601 Christie Street, Unit 174, Toronto, ON 



All efforts are being made to have a workshop available in the major regions we serve: Toronto, York Region, Durham Region, and Peel Region. If you are interested in hosting a teacher training workshop at your school in one of those regions, please contact the Citizen Science Coordinator directly at [email protected]



School Watch Cost Structure

Teacher Training Half-Day Workshop (2.5 hours)



Subsidized Teacher



Teacher Training Full-Day Workshop (9am-3pm)





Subsidized Teacher


Teacher workshops include the 50-page colour School Watch Guide, Bird Studies Canada bird ID cards, pollinator activity supplies, and more. 

Special Discount Rain Gauge $30

We're offering standard professional rain gauges ($60 value) to teacher participants for $30 so your school can get started right away with Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network observations! Learn how simple weather watching can be with our demo and register for this unique citizen science project during the School Watch workshop.

Student Session (1-2 hour school ground study with EcoSpark staff)

Teacher workshops include up to 2 hours of follow-up consultation by phone or email with staff at no charge to assist in planning their own student activity. We also offer a staffed Student Session option--our Citizen Science Staff lead citizen science activities with you and your class right on your schoolgrounds. Includes use of a classroom set of professional binoculars and all other materials.






Subsidy Application

In some circumstances we are able to provide subsidies for our programming. Please fill out our Subsidy Application Form to apply for a subsidy. Please note that subsidies are limited and are granted on a first come, first serve basis. 

School Watch Cost Structure Policies

  • CLASS SIZE – 10-30 students for the regular School Watch program (co-facilitated by EcoSpark staff and a teacher following the teacher training workshop). We may not be able to accommodate classes greater than this size. Please contact EcoSpark to discuss options. Classes smaller than 10 students, will still need to pay $100 total for the student session.
  • SESSION TIMING – Teachers may choose to book a student session length of between 1 and 2 hours (the same fee applies).
  • MAXIMUM SESSIONS BOOKED – A single school can book up to 3 student sessions (over a single day). Any additional sessions (i.e. additional days) will be charged a rate of $16/student.
  • SUPRISE STUDENTS – Any additional students brought on the day of the study without notifying an EcoSpark staff member at least 3 days prior to the study will be charged a cost of $20/student.


School Watch Cancellation Policy

2 weeks prior to study

100% refund

1 week prior to study

50% refund

1 day prior

0% refund

Bad Weather Cancellation

100% refund