Partner Spotlight: Dr. Mark Abrahams, Professor and Dean of Science, Memorial University

2016-03-06

M. Abrahams PhotoDr. Abrahams shares his view on how the Let’s Talk Science partnership at Memorial University helps post-secondary student’s skill development while making science relevant and accessible to youth who may never have considered the possibility of pursuing a science-related career.

When I was asked by the organizers of the Let’s Talk Science Outreach, Eastern Regional Conference to make a presentation, they wanted the subject to focus on why Memorial University’s Faculty of Science provides financial and logistical support to the Let’s Talk Science Outreach program.  My answer to this question reflected the shared vision and goals that exist between Let’s Talk Science Outreach at Memorial University and its academic partners.  One of the most important goals of my institution is constantly seeking to improve the quality of the degrees that we provide to our students.  The Let’s Talk Science Outreach program includes large numbers of our undergraduate and graduate students who get the opportunity to think about and implement lesson plans that make science relevant and accessible to students who may never have considered the possibility of pursuing a science-related career.  This is an unparalleled learning opportunity since the best way to master a subject is to teach it.

As the only university in the province, and reflecting Memorial University’s special obligation to the people of the province, we also have the shared mission of Science Literacy.  The opportunity to assist Let’s Talk Science Outreach in bringing its resources and expertise to schools ignites a passion for science not only in the students that directly benefit from the visit, but hopefully in the teachers who see the possibilities for further enriching a dynamic subject in future years.

It is for these reasons, and others, that I think the question that I was asked to speak on at the conference needs to be reframed.  It is not a question of why we provide support to the Let’s Talk Science Outreach program, but how we mutually benefit from working with each other and what we can do to further strengthen this partnership and help develop the skill set of our post-secondary students at Memorial University.

—Dr. Mark Abrahams, Professor & Dean of Science, Memorial University