Tim Tessier, Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association vice-president, makes a presentation to Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ education committee on May 1. His group seeks to build an ocean exploration centre in Nanaimo and sought a letter of support from the school district. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Ocean centre envisions education partnerships with Nanaimo school district

Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association presents updated plan, seeks support

With an updated plan that includes a theatre with 3-D technology, proponents of an ocean learning centre are seeking support from the school district and other groups.

Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association, a non-profit, has visions of a facility similar to Science World in Vancouver, but where people can learn about oceans. Tim Tessier and Bill Nadeau, association vice-president and director, respectively, made a presentation May 1 to the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools education committee about the centre, now known as OceanEXP, Canada’s Centre for Ocean Exploration.

While originally envisioned as a museum, plans have evolved and Tessier said a feasibility study based on primary research is forthcoming from MNP. He said the association wants the centre to be more than a museum, it wants the centre to be an iconic facility unlike anything else in the world.

The centre would include an interactive, immersive dynamic virtual theatre, with high-definition, virtual and 3-D technology, although not IMax.

“It was a museum piece and we wanted to take that and turn it into a living experience of virtual reality beyond tanks that were filled with water,” said Nadeau. “In today’s age there is no more aquariums … everything’s going to become a virtual reality environment where the experience can be far more effective, and that’s what we’ve adopted. It allowed us to create a strong educational component.

“We can actually control the curriculum that we put in, the visual display, that’s again interactive with a high educational component. We teach about the technology that we use to explore the oceans and, in doing so, we put it together with the environment and the threats that the oceans face right now.”

RELATED: Group pitches ocean centre for Nanaimo

RELATED: Council recommends $65K for proposed ocean centre

When asked by Jo Cornthwaite, Nanaimo District Teachers’ Association representative, about who’s designing the curriculum, Nadeau said it would be collaborative.

“As far as the actual curriculums throughout the facility itself, what we want to do … is approach the school systems and say, ‘We’re not reinventing the wheel and we’re not going to tell you what that curriculum is.’ We want to create a program that is symbiotic with what you’re producing in the schools, what you’re introducing, so that’s part of that partnership we seek,” said Nadeau.

Tessier said more than $100,000 “pure cash” has been raised for the project and more than $250,000 in contributions from corporations and other groups. The deep discovery association said discussions are taking place with Snuneymuxw First Nation.

The education committee said any letter of support should be dependent on consent from Snuneymuxw, and tabled a motion for a letter of support until September.

The association will be presenting the study to the City of Nanaimo in the future.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Just Posted

Pirates climb to first place in premier league

Mid Island baseball team wins four more to extend win streak to eight games

Nanaimo city councillors to hold e-town hall meeting on strategic priorities

Meeting will take place May 23 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Editorial: Homelessness task force has to be more than misdirection

Task force won’t be able to address all the challenging issues that come before Nanaimo council

Nanaimo Heritage Festival helps highlight the long weekend

Parade and family activities took place downtown today, May 19

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Nanaimo ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Nanaimo author details hotel history along the E&N railway

Along the E&N tells the story of 32 establishments from Esquimalt to Campbell River

RDN looking into providing bus service 365 days a year

RDN transit committee to consider adding bus service on Christmas, New Year’s and Good Friday

Wheelchair basketball in Nanaimo accessible to all abilities

Harbour City Slam play day introduced newcomers to the sport

Speed limit lowered at Departure Bay Beach

Speed limit reduced to 40 km/h until the fall

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Most Read