Scholarship 2022

This year, Friends of Sable Island Society was pleased to offer $2,000 in scholarships to Nova Scotia students to promote learning and awareness about Canada’s 43rd National Park Reserve.

For the tenth anniversary of our scholarship offering, we challenged applicants to create a 10-15 minute lesson plan for Grade 1 students in Nova Scotia. Lesson plans were framed from the perspective of a young girl in the late 1800s who moved from a city to live on Sable Island with her family. A key requirement of the lesson plan was to address multiple learning styles.

Applicants were able to choose from two topics: Science: Interconnectedness of living things and the environment or Social Studies: Implement age-appropriate actions for responsible behaviour in caring for the environment. We were thrilled with the creative responses we received and hope all our applicants deepened their appreciation for the island through their hard work.

We would like to congratulate Sophia Kent-Purcell on her $1,500 first place entry: “Grass? You mean the stuff on the lawn?” and wish her much success as she attends Saint Mary’s University to study Environmental Sciences. As well, congratulations to Edie Whittington for taking the $500 second place prize for “Mila’s Discovery – Reducing Plastic Pollution on Sable Island.” Edie is studying Psychology at Concordia University.

Please find both winning entries below.

Sophia Kent-Purcell – First Place – “Grass? You mean the stuff on the lawn?”

Reflective Statement:

I’ve never been to Sable Island, but I really want to. Sable Island is the only of
Nova Scotia’s three national parks that I have not had a chance to explore, and so for the
time being it feels like an adventure just waiting to happen. But on the other hand, the
fact that I haven’t been able to go there feels promising to me; so many of the other
national parks I’ve been to, while protected from development, do have many changes,
like much used campsites, made to their natural wildness. I think protected places that
provide an accessible way for everyone to experience nature are important, but I don’t
think they should be the extent of what is given the status of “National Park ” protected
by the federal government. Sable island is an example of a protected place that, from
the pictures I’ve seen, still looks wild.
I’m applying for this scholarship not only because of my love for wild places and
my dreams of working as a conservation scientist to protect and understand them, but
also because of the focus on education’s role in helping the environment. I am lucky
enough to work at an Earth education day camp and helping kids see the beauty and
complexity of the natural world really excites me; because of this, making a lesson plan
on this topic seemed not only less daunting, but also more interesting and exciting than
the essay writing in involved in so many other scholarship opportunities.

Sophie Kent-Purcell

Edie Whittington – Second Place – “Mila’s Discovery – Reducing Plastic Pollution on Sable Island”

Reflective Statement:

I have always been intrigued by the stories of Sable Island. Wild horses, mysterious shipwrecks, beautiful scenery. Although I have never been to the island, I do hope I one day go. My grandmother always would tell me fictional stories about people on Sable Island, so the perspective of a young girl brought back memories of falling asleep to her voice. It seems like such a special place and I really hope it will stay that way long into the future. When I found this scholarship opportunity I was so happy. It combines two of my greatest interests, spreading knowledge and raising awareness about environmental issues. I am my school’s environment executive and run my own non-profit surrounding environmental education, so I’m all about making it fun for people of all ages to learn about important themes. By combining the history of Sable Island and the importance of environmental protection I really do hope my inspiration and passion shines through. At school, I don’t think I ever learned about Sable Island, or that much about environmental protection, so I do hope more awareness is gained through the resources of a lesson plan. It definitely would’ve peaked my interest in grade 1, learning about beautiful horses living in the wild.

Edie Whittington