Project 3: "Canolab Connections"

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): David King

Clarence W. Mercer

Jean Ash

School: St. Mark's Elementary
P.O. Box 100
Shearstown, Nfld.
A0A 3V0
Tele: (709) 786-2131
Fax: (709) 786-1124
Grade Level: Grade 5
Number of Students: 30
Project Start and Finish Dates: January to April, 1998.
  Project Overview

  1. Canolab is an experiment designed by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to involve schools in the experimental process. Each school receives canola seeds which were flown in outer space aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1996. The purpose of the experiment is to determine if plant growth was affected by space travel.
  2. This project is designed so that students enrich their knowledge and understanding of space exploration, plant germination and growth, and purpose of scientific investigation. Students will compose and send e-mail to other participating schools in Newfoundland, and across Canada to provide weekly data reports on observation of plant growth.
  3. Students will use search engines, such as Yahooligans, to find information on the World Wide Web associated with topics such as space exploration, Canadian Space Program, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Centers.

Students will:

  • investigate Canada's role in the space program.
  • research the economic benefits of the canola seed in Canada.
  • observe and record daily plant growth in Individual Log.
  • record information and data on charts and graphs.

Students will establish contact with:

  • other students from various schools participating in the canolab project via e-mail.
  • various governmental agencies associated with the project via the Internet.

Students will:

  • establish a Web home page for Experiment Data Reporting, to be updated weekly.

  Curriculum Connections

This project relates mainly to the Science program in grade five. It will also enrich Reading, Writing, and Observing components of the Language Arts program and help reinforce the objectives of the Technology Education program at the Elementary Grades, as well as Math.

This project will provide opportunities for thinking, observing, investigation, inquiring, talking, reading and writing as the students are involved in the experimental process.


  • Students will gain a knowledge of the Canadian Space Program.
  • Students will record and interpret as they participate in the scientific process.
  • Students will learn about seed pollination and plant growth.
  • Students will understand the need for a control group in some experimental designs.

Language Arts

  • To help students acquire the language skills, of reading, writing, reporting, and researching.
  • To help students compose appropriate e-mail messages, and learn about on-line communications.
  • To help students realize that language especially reading and writing, is a tool of learning, as well as a medium of communications.

Technology Education

  • To help students learn the basics of communications, principals of encoding and decoding, transmitting and receiving, storing and retrieving, and the role that technology plays.
  • To help students develop a vocabulary of the terminology and language used in the communication technology associated with e-mailing and using the Internet.
  • To help students send and receive e-mail messages.
  • To help students develop an appreciation of the value of the Worlds Wide Web as a source of information and use a browser to explore and utilize the resource.
  • To help students use an appropriate search engines for this project.
  • To help students use HTML editors to create a "Canolab Connections" home page on the World Wide Web.

  Resource Connections

Students will be actively involved in this project. They will use the resources of the World Wide Web and electronic mail to conduct their research. Each student will be encouraged to contribute to the project. Students will be expected to report their findings, not only in class, but also via e-mail to other schools in Newfoundland and across Canada. This will require the use of a world processing program to provide data updates.

This project would require the collaborative effort of other classes, and, indeed other schools to work through the project. A students from different schools share information about their experiment, they will also be exchanging information about themselves, their community, and country. The information that St. Mark's gather will greatly expand their knowledge and broaden the horizons. The finished product will be available for other schools via the home page.

Students participating in this project will use PC applications and accessories that are necessary for the creation of a home page for this project, and the Internet, specifically electronic mail and the World Wide Web for research and communicating. As well, a flatbed scanner and a digital camera may be needed to complete this project.


Students will:

  • demonstrate a knowledge of using a World Wide Web Browser, such as Netscape, to explore the Internet.

  • demonstrate a knowledge of sending and receiving e-mail using appropriate software.

  • demonstrate a knowledge various search engines to locate appropriate sites.

  • demonstrate a knowledge of how the resources of the Internet are related to the "real" world.

  • demonstrate a knowledge of using a HTML editor to create a home page for the project.

Feed back from students, as well as parents, teachers, etc. will help to determine how the students' current knowledge has been enriched in this particular project.

The creation of this project will help students achieve the objectives of the curriculum and highlight the importance of the Internet as a learning resource.

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