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Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site of Canada

Education Programs

The Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site of Canada 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.

To learn more about the site's education programs please refer to the curriculum link for each program.

Grade One
Grade Two
Grade Four
Booking Your Program

Historic Costumes - Kindergarten

Lego Models © Parks Canada Summer 2000

Ever wonder what life was like in the early 1900's? How did they live? What did they wear? What kind of games did they play? This one-hour program gives JK and SK participants the opportunity to enter the historic Superintendent's Residence and learn about his family and his role as the Superintendent at the Sault Ste Marie Canal. Participants will learn about the Canal's importance in Canada's heritage and how the All-Canadian Waterway played an important role in transporting cargo across Canada. Parks Canada heritage presentation staff will greet you dressed in period costume to give participants a feel for the time period. Participants will then be transported into the time period themselves by modeling one of a variety of children's costumes from the 1890's era. Time permitting they will have the opportunity to participate in Victorian children's games from the 1900s. Visit the Sault Ste. Marie Canal and step back in time!

All about dams - Grade One

Lego Models © Parks Canada Summer 2000

It's the only structure of its kind left in the world, one of nine ever built, the only one to be used under emergency conditions and it's right here in Sault Ste. Marie! Can you guess what this historic artifact is? That's right, it's the Sault Ste. Marie Canal's Emergency Swing Dam, which is just one of the dams featured in this one-hour program. Best suited for a Grade One audience, this program teaches participants 'all about dams' and gives them a closer look at our unique Emergency Swing Dam. Not only will participants reinforce their newfound knowledge of this structure's unique characteristics with a fun and interactive game, but they will also walk away with a handmade Parks Canada craft. To make their craft, participants will apply riveting techniques comparable to those used during the construction of the Emergency Swing Dam. Visit the Sault Ste Marie Canal and discover Canadian history in your own backyard!

Science & Technology, Energy and Control - Grade Two

Lego Models © Parks Canada Summer 2000

Learn how the movement of water from Lake Superior was used to produce the energy required to generate hydroelectricity at the world's first electrically operated lock. Students will identify a variety of simple machine components through observation and hands-on activities. A take home package will reinforce what they learned after their visit.

How Does a Lock Work? - Grade Four

Lego Models © Parks Canada Summer 2000

What do you call an elevator for boats? Why would a boat need an elevator? How would it work? During this one-hour program, participants will work with a knowledgeable heritage presenter to discover how a lock works and how simple machines were used in the operation of the lock to produce hydroelectricity. Discover how the construction of the canal and lock completed the All Canadian Waterway that provided a valuable link for transportation across our country. Interpretive tools in the visitor centre offer a first-hand look at the lock operation and will provide participants with an authentic and experiential learning experience. At the end of the program, an interactive question and answer puzzle activity will reinforce participant's newfound knowledge. Visit the Sault Ste Marie Canal; you'll forget you're learning!

Booking Your Program

To book an education program please click here

For further information please contact:

Visitor Services
Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site of Canada
Ph. (705)941-6205