A Year of Climate Action With The Gaia Project

Jul 14, 2023

Happy summer vacation to all students and teachers across New Brunswick, and congratulations to all the graduates of the class of 2023! 

It has been another
great year of empowering youth to take action on climate change with us at The Gaia Project. The 2022/2023 school year brought about the return of many beloved in-person events, as well as brand-new opportunities for us to connect with students and teachers. From our traditional classroom programs to STEM fairs and community events and co-chairing a national conference, we took part in it all this past year!

The new and exciting... 

This year, we had the opportunity to pilot two new programs – our middle school Climate Labs program, and the Climate Justice version of our high school Climate Action Project (CAP) program. Climate Labs is a hands-on program that is broken into four different lessons: electricity use, renewable energy, waste, and air quality. These lessons help showcase the interdisciplinary nature of climate change while introducing the topics in fun and engaging ways. CAP- Climate Justice focuses on empowering students to make informed and ethical decisions about their consumption habits by thinking critically about climate change through a social lens. Both new programs were a huge success, and we are looking forward to officially rolling them out for the 2023/2024 school year! 

A Gaia staff uses a small wind turbine to teach a group of students about wind energy

Brittany teaches Nashwaaksis Middle School students about sustainable energy through our Climate Labs: Renewables program) 

We also saw the growth of our Green Experts program, with a new learning package and web page being launched, and more classroom engagements with our experts than ever before! Our team was hard at work recruiting over 100 volunteers to be Green Experts and hosting 14 panels with high school classes across NB, two of which reached over 100 students each! In total, this program reached 1,469 students throughout NB! To top it off we also wrapped up the filming of our “My Green Job” video series, highlighting organizations and individuals across NB working in green careers. Stay tuned for the final product launching in the Fall of 2023!

Three Green Expert panelists sit in front of a teenaged audience

Ainslee hosts a Green Experts Panel at the NB Student Leadership Conference. 

The tried and true... 

This school year we saw an unprecedented increase in requests for all of our programs, including Trash Tracker, Energy Escape, Energy Detectives, and Climate Action Project – prompting us to create a waitlist for numerous programs in April.  A huge thank you to all the teachers who requested programs this past year  

2022-2023 By The Numbers: Gaia-led Programs: 267 programs delivered, 194 different schools engaged, 5,934 students reached. Learning Packages: 311 downloads, 21,950 students reached Teacher Professional Learning: 130 teachers reached, 11 Sessions (6 in-person, 5 virtual)


EcoSchools in New Brunswick… 

The 2022/2023 school year saw more New Brunswick schools engaged with the EcoSchools platform than the last 3 years. 16 NB schools became certified EcoSchools this year, including 8 Platinum, 5 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze, with 27 participants as of June 23, 2023! Check out the NB EcoSchools Impact Report to learn more. 

Congratulations to the 2022/2023 certified EcoSchools in New Brunswick! 

New Brunswick’s 2022-2023 Certified EcoSchools. Platinum: Dorchester Consolidated School, St. Stephen Middle School, Hampton High school, Rothesay Park School, Birchmount School, Rothesay Netherwood School, Harbourview High School, Centre Scolaire Communautaire Samuel-de-Champlain. Gold: Saint Maru’s Academy, Sussex Elementary School, Claude D. Taylor School, Hubbard elementary School, Maplehurst Middle School. Silver: Fundy Middle and High School, École Mathieu-Martin. Bronze: Sunny Brae Middle School

Top 5 EcoSchools Actions Taken by New Brunswick schools: Community Clean-up, Earth Day Activities, Create Your Own Action, GOOS Paper, Indoor Gardening and Greenhouse

We have some exciting things in the works with our partners at EcoSchools Canada for the 2023/2024 school year, so stay tuned  

The return of events and a special Earth Week celebration! 

We were overjoyed to attend so many school celebrations and special events this year. Our staff participated in school yard clean-ups and waste-reduction initiatives, had community booths and sessions at regional STEM fairs, helped schools get their EcoSchools program off the ground, toured wind farms with the Centre of Excellence for Energy, and even hosted the official book launch for our children’s book Swallow Finds a Nest at the Fredericton Public Library. This was an incredibly exciting time for us to finally see something we had worked on for over a year come to fruition. Written by elementary school teacher and Quebec-based children’s author, Emelie Demers, and illustrated by New Brunswick artist Réjean Roy, Swallow Finds a Nest introduces elementary-aged children to concepts of environmentalism and sustainability. 

During Earth Week (April 17-21) we participated in 9 individual programs/events – including one virtual session where we reached 2500 students! This week was a clear highlight for our staff, and we are already planning for the next school year. 

Gaia Project staff at an event booth

Brittany, Guylaine and Ainslee attend the NB Regional STEM fair. 


Guylaine and Marie stand together holding Swallow Finds a Nest at the Library

Guylaine Ferguson, Program Manager at The Gaia Project, and Marie Cadieux, Executive and Literary Director at Bouton D’or Acadie, stand together at the book release for Swallow Finds a Nest.  

Moving Forward...   

It was great to be back in so many schools across the province this school year, we saw so many students and teachers going above and beyond to take climate action in their schools and communities. We saw an increase in food forests and school gardens, the creation of GOOS paper bins and improved recycling systems, increased interest in transportation at the high school level, and even a functioning compost system built out of an old buoy at Campobello Island Consolidated School! 

Our staff team has grown over the past year, bringing an even more diverse set of skills to the table. We can’t wait to see what innovative projects take shape in the coming school year! From our growing team to you – happy summer vacation! 

Interested in seeing some highlights from the year? Check out our TikTok to see our team in action!


Thank you #NewBrunswick for an amazing year of ClimateAction! From events, to projects, we are honoured to be able to visit every corner of the province, helping to inspire future #ClimateLeaders through ClimateEducation. . Merci au #NouveauBrunswick pour cette formidable année d’ActionClimatique! Que ce soit pour des activités ou des projets, c’est toujours un honneur de voir les quatre coins de la province et d’aider à inspirer les futurs #LeadersClimatiques par le biais de l’#ÉducationAuClim

♬ Good Vibes (Instrumental) – Ellen Once Again

Author: Ainslee MacMillan, Special Projects Manager, The Gaia Project

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  • The youth of today are the leaders, innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs and decision makers of tomorrow. The Gaia Project is a unique organization helping students to understand and take action against this existential threat, now and in the future.

    John Reid


  • Young people have a role in protecting our climate today and tomorrow, this is why we're happy to support The Gaia Project in their mission of empowering youth.

    Krista Han

    Managing Partner - New Brunswick, Grant Thornton LLP

  • Opportunities with The Gaia Project have helped to bring about real changes, not only in the students' understanding and views of the world around them and their capacity to help, but also in the way the school is actually run as we have made concrete changes in some of our energy consumption strategies and practices.

    Brent Rowney

    Teacher at Oromocto High School

  • Thank you, I told my parents what we did in class and now they want to recycle at home!


    Student, Parkwood Heights Elementary School