Education Program Providing unique on-board, experiential learning opportunities for schools

Education Program

Our Education Program provides unique opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning for students of all ages.  Our keystone program, the Lake Ecology Field Program, takes place during the school year aboard our research ship the M/V Namao and is aimed at students in Grades 8 to 12. For younger students, we are now offering a new pilot program called the Lake Winnipeg Discovery Camp: Sail and Science, which will take place during the summer holidays. Details about these two field-based programs are below. In addition, we also offer classroom visits for all grades and an annual Water Award at the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium. Explore our programming below.

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Lake Winnipeg Discovery Camp: Sail & Science (2024 – open for registration)

Calling all kids between 8 and 13 years old!!!

What is involved?
At the “Lake Winnipeg Discovery Camp: Sail & Science”, you will learn to sail in the morning with the Gimli Yacht Club and do lake science in the afternoon with the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium – in between the two, you will be served a great lunch by the Gimli Kiwanis Club.

What’s lake science?
Lake science explores how the plants and animals that live in Lake Winnipeg, from algae to fish, interact with one another and their environment and also how humans are affecting them. Some critters are so small (but super important) you will use a microscope to see them! You will also use some of the same equipment that lake scientists use when they work on the big, blue ship M/V Namao. In fact, if the ship is in harbour, you might even be able to go aboard for a tour!!

Where is the program offered?
The central location for all activities (sailing, science and lunch) is the Gimli Yacht Club with excursions by foot within Gimli Harbour.

When is the program offered?
The 2024 dates for the Lake Winnipeg Discovery Camp: Sail & Science are: 
   1) July 1st to July 5th (5 days) 
   2) July 8h to 12th (5 days)

Who can register for the Day Camp?
This camp is open to kids between 8 and 13 years of age.

What is the cost?
The cost is $260 + GST. This includes five full days (9 AM to 4 PM) of sailing and science as well as lunch.

Register at:


Lake Ecology Field Program

Application Deadlines: April 15th (spring) provisional upon funding.

The Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium Inc. offers a unique Lake Ecology Field Program on board the M/V Namao to students between grades 8 and 12, as well as university level.

Students set sail from Gimli, Manitoba on a half-day excursion in the south basin of Lake Winnipeg to sample and analyze various components of the lake ecosystem including water, phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthos. Two recent additions to the program are the analyses of E. coli (a bacterium) and microcystin-LR (a common algal toxin).

The program is filled with hands-on learning opportunities using a variety of sampling and analytical equipment, as well as microscopes and taxonomic keys. While on board, students are responsible for taking accurate field notes, including drawing specimens, and completing an on-board written assignment.

All trips are preceded by a presentation delivered either via a classroom visit or on-line, describing the changes in the lake ecosystem.

Who can apply?
Any teacher or special education group interested in Lake Winnipeg. At present, the Lake Ecology Field Program is well-suited, but not limited to, the following clusters within the Provincial curriculum.

  • Grade 6 Diversity of Living Things
  • Grade 7 Interactions within Ecosystems
  • Grade 8 Water Systems on Earth
  • Grade 10 Science, Dynamics of Ecosystems
  • Grade 11 Current Topics in the Sciences
  • Grade 12 Interdisciplinary Topics in Science

When is the program offered?
The Lake Ecology Field Program is offered in the spring (after ice-out) provisional upon funding and ship availability.

What is the cost?
There is no cost to participate in this program except for transport to Gimli, Manitoba, which is the responsibility of the participating school.

To apply
Teachers interested in participating in this Program should contact the LWRC at In the late winter, those teachers will be sent an application form, submission of which is due April 15th.

What are the selection criteria?
Priority will be given to classes that are engaged in a water stewardship outreach activity that extends beyond the classroom and into the school or community. For example, this may include student presentations to other classes or community groups, a video production, art projects, water sampling – the only limit is the imagination. Please review the application form for more specific details.


Classroom Visits 

The LWRC’s Education Program includes classroom visits for early years to university level students in support of curriculum outcomes and Special Projects. Contact us using the Contact form.


Water Award (Manitoba Schools Science Symposium)

The LWRC’s Water Award is offered at the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium and is open to Juniors (Grades 7 and 8), Intermediates (Grades 9 and 10) and Seniors (Grades 11 and 12). 

In addition to a cash prize, Water Award recipients are invited to join the LWRC’s science team for a half day on board our research ship M/V Namao on Lake Winnipeg during the summer research survey.

Setting sail from Gimli Harbour, recipients have an opportunity to participate in some of the research and monitoring being conducted on this magnificent body of water.

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