The Sydenham River: Explore, Investigate, Enjoy - The Sydenham River is situated in southwestern Ontario and has sustained plants, animals and people along its banks for thousands of years. This website, designed to explore the geographic and social history of the area, was developed by Zero One and a project team from the Township of Strathroy-Caradoc and the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority.
This project presented the challenges of showing the rich environmental history of the area while illustrating the challenges faced by early explorers. On all main sections of the website, a map of Ontario and the Sydenham River is present. When a user zooms in, this map shows red, grey, or green dots. When clicked on, these dots connect to vignettes about the culture (red), geology (grey), or biology (green) of the region. Using photographs and museum objects to illustrate these vignettes helps to make the stories come to life and the dots tie a piece of history to a specific location. SydenhamDiscovery.ca was designed to incorporate elements of the Ontario school curriculum for grades 6, 7, and 8. In order to integrate the curriculum in an entertaining way, Zero One created The Great Upper Canadian Adventure, a game that puts the player in the role of an emigrant from Europe to Canada in the 1800s. The game asks students to make choices about building a home, planting crops, and living in the community and this experience enhances their understanding of the challenges faced by 19th century settlers along the river.