Write2Know for Educators

Do you teach university-level courses related to the environment and health? Civics and science? Do you need concrete and empirical examples of the links between science, citizenship, and politics for your students? Are you passionate about the role of education in democracy and social change?

Involve your students in the Write2Know campaign this fall! This letter-writing campaign gives students the tools they need to ask federal scientists questions about research in the public interest. Students can also sign pre-written Write2Know letters posing questions to federal scientists and ministers about the health of our bodies, communities, and environments. Students can learn about the relationship between science, politics, the environment and human health. And with the federal election underway, Write2know gets students involved in civic life.

Use Write2Know into your classroom to:

  1. Discuss health and/or environmental issues relevant to your course and the broader Canadian and international contexts. Topics include: Marine plastics, climate change, resource extraction, nuclear waste, endocrine disruptors, and more.
  2. Explore the role of the federal government in monitoring the health and well-being of Canadians, and disseminating research in the public interest. What is the relationship between knowledge and governance? What kinds of access to information is required in a healthy democracy?
  3. Learn about the recent history of censoring federal scientists and destruction of scientific data in Canada.
  4. Discuss the role of public interest research and public access to federally funded research on environmental and human health.
  5. Sign a Write2know letter addressed to federal scientists and ministers, or develop your own questions for a federal scientist. A How To Guide for developing new questions is provided on the Write2Know website.

The Write2Know website offers a suite of resources for classroom teaching, including:

  • Videos and articles that contextualize the issue of science and citizenship in Canada
  • A How to Guide for writing your own letters
  • Informative slides to accompany your lecture (Single Slide, Multiple Slides – click to download Powerpoint slides)
  • Links to access the directory of federal scientists and their specialties
  • Sample Write2know letters
  • Media coverage about federal science and scientists in Canada

Write2Know week runs September 28-October 2. This is when we will be making a concentrated push for new letters and new signatures. However, you can write or sign letters before or after this period.

Want to share your ideas, classroom activities, and resources? We’d love to hear from you and share your ideas with other educators.