Earth Day Presentation Encourages Students

·2 min read

The students at Swan Hills School certainly received some food for thought on Earth Day (Apr. 22) this year. All of the students from grades 1 – 12 were treated to a one-hour presentation from Jill Heinerth over Google Meet, including a roughly 20-minute question and answer period.

Jill Heinerth has had an exciting career as a cave diver, underwater explorer, photographer, and filmmaker. She has worked on projects for PBS, National Geographic, and the BBC and consulted on movies. Among many honours, Mrs. Heinerth was inducted into the International Scuba Divers Hall of Fame in 2020, presented with the Polar Medal by Canada’s Governor General in 2017, received the inaugural Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration in 2013, and is the first Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Using a combination of spectacular photographs and short video clips, Mrs. Heinerth related some of her exciting experiences to the students, including archaeological and scientific projects that she has worked on, fascinating animals she has shared the water with, and some of the cutting edge equipment that her projects and expeditions have used. From diving inside of an iceberg in the Antarctic to describing what it’s like to swim with sharks, Jill Heinerth’s presentation offered plenty of material to inspire the students’ imaginations.

The students could ask questions during the Q&A portion of the presentation, either directly through the video teleconferencing capabilities supported by Google Meet or through the group chat. The students’ questions were thoughtful and insightful, asking about Mrs. Heinerth’s diving experiences, animals that she has encountered, and how she started into this field of work.

All in all, this experience was a fantastic way to learn more about the planet on Earth Day.

Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette