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Second year student co-host of live webcast to schools across Canada

It is not every day that one of our Marine Science students gets to co-host an educational live streaming event in blustery winds on Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, but this is exactly what Marika Schenkels (YR 44, Canada-NS) did on 26 February 2019.

Very early that morning, the team from Live It – a Victoria-born digital production company that creates and provides real-time, live educational webcasts from unique locations – like Race Rocks – and Marika made their way from Pearson College UWC’s docks across very choppy waters to the best-known lighthouse island in British Columbia.

“The wind was so strong that we literally had to wait until the last minute before determining if we could make the trip over to the island safely,” explains Greg Dickinson, Seafront Maintenance Coordinator at Pearson. But alas, the weather cooperated enough that the College’s experienced seafront team, Greg, Corey and Guy were able to get the entire crew and all their technical equipment to Race Rocks safe and sound.

In contrast to the Live It team, Marika had made the trip to Race Rocks many times as part of her activities and classes at the College.

Taking Diving as her CAS activity (Creativity, Action, Service) and the Marine Science course at Pearson in addition to speaking English and French fluently, the student from Nova Scotia, Canada was the perfect candidate for the live event sessions on under water noise and its effects on marine species that were offered first in English and in second session in French.

“Being part of the Live It event was such a dream come true,” exclaimed Marika. “I am so grateful to be able to visit this wonderful island and share my love for it with so many other young Canadians.”

Her passion for this subject and the island was clearly visible in Marika’s polished on-screen performance as she responded to questions sent in to the webcast from elementary school-aged students from across Canada and shared hosting duties with experienced TV broadcaster Astrid Braunschmidt, who is now with BC Ferries, one of the sponsors of the school webcast.

Marika was joined online by a group of Marine Science experts who also answered questions from classroom viewers via Twitter. Among the experts was Laura Verhegge, Marine Science faculty member at Pearson, and students from her classes.

Live It, experts in underwater live and interactive education, were streaming live from Race Rocks Ecological Reserve to grades 3-6 student classrooms across Canada and to hundreds of students at a special IMAX version of the webcast in downtown Victoria. Students and teachers were able to connect in real-time to explore Race Rock’s Sea Lion population from sea to surface and learn about the effects of underwater noise on marine species.

“Our partnership with Pearson really made the Race Rocks live shows and we appreciate all the support we received,” states Mike Irvine, Co-Founder & CEO at Live It. “Marika nailed it! She is an absolute pleasure to work with and it was incredible to witness how well she fit into the group and took on her role as marine expert to thousands of elementary students across Canada. Despite the weather, the show worked out really well and we are looking forward to exploring more options for educational live streaming sessions with and from the College.

“We are thrilled to partner with Live It for this exceptional learning event that not only aligns our values of experiential education and sustainability, but also allowed one of our students to apply their expertise and skills from the teaching point of view,” added Ty Pile, Vice President of Operations and Administration at Pearson College UWC.