School Programs

Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site

The Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site offers a wide variety of curriculum based education programs for children of all ages with strong links to Ontario's Science & Technology curriculum. When opened in 1895, the Sault Canal represented the most advanced technology in canal design and operation. It was the world's longest lock and the first to be illuminated and operated by electricity.

The site also features access to over 3km of trails along the St. Marys rapids and through a beautiful wetland area nestled beneath the International Bridge. The site’s natural environment and rich history provide a myriad of learning opportunities for school groups.

Beavers and Habitats

  • Hike to the wetlands to observe the beaver’s habitat
  • See various bird and mammal species
  • Explore an urban riparian area
  • Learn about an animal’s essential needs
  • 2-hour program
  • SK to grade 3

Simple Machines of the Canal

  • Explore the modern lock and learn why certain materials were used in its construction
  • Get a close up look at the Emergency Swing Dam and use a simple machine to move a heavy load
  • 2-hour program
  • Grade 1 – 3

Milkweed and Monarchs

  • Learn about the lifecycle of the Monarch Butterfly
  • Explore the grounds and inspect the Monarch’s favourite plant – Milkweed
  • Play a fun game to discover the Monarch’s migration path
  • 2-hour program
  • Grade 1 – 4

Then and Now

  • Walk to the rapids to learn how the land rehabilitated itself following the canal’s construction
  • Explore the use of a modern lock which alleviated the need to portage canoes around the rapids
  • Learn how political conflict led to the construction of the Sault Ste. Marie Canal between 1889 and 1895
  • 2-hour program
  • Grade 7 – 8

Super Structures

  • Examine how the Emergency Swing Dam was constructed to withstand external forces
  • Build an interactive LEGO® model
  • 2-hour program
  • Grade 4 – 6

Orienteering and Compassing

  • Learn how to convert an aerial photo into a working map
  • Use a compass to find bearings and draw transects on a map
  • Shoot bearings with a compass
  • Determine your personal pace factor
  • Use a GPS receiver to navigate around a predetermined course
  • Compare compass and GPS – which do you prefer?
  • Highschool program
  • 9:30 am to 2:30 pm with 30-minute lunch break

Program fees

To book your field trip call 705-941-6205,

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