Let’s Talk Science Outreach volunteers at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology are celebrating a five year milestone of providing free, high quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach to local youth in Oshawa and across Durham Region. The Let’s Talk Science Outreach program provides post-secondary students the opportunity to share their research and knowledge of STEM, while building valuable skills like public speaking, problem solving and time management through professional development and training.
Former Let’s Talk Science volunteer Deborah Saucier, now Provost and Vice-President, Academic at the university brought Let’s Talk Science Outreach to the university during her time as the Dean of the Faculty of Science. “As someone who was involved as a volunteer myself very early in Let’s Talk Science’s history, I am continuously amazed by all that has been accomplished,” said Saucier. “It is very gratifying to see such effectiveness in outreach; this is how we’ll make a difference in improving science literacy in Canada.”
Sarah Barnett, a student of the Bachelor of Science (Hons)/Bachelor of Education (Concurrent) in Biology and Mathematics at the university has been volunteering with Let’s Talk Science for four years. "Volunteering with Let's Talk Science has allowed me to gain confidence speaking in front of others while also connecting with the local community in a science-positive way,” said Barnett. “I have seen so many eyes light up in students as they achieve their own "A-HA" moments. That goes to show how meaningful, and cool, these science activities are. I look forward to every volunteer placement with Let’s Talk Science as I know how rewarding it will be for both the students and me."
Let’s Talk Science volunteers, like Sarah, go out into the community to offer Let’s Talk Science Outreach programs that engage youth in hands-on/minds-on learning, where they are able to build and test skills such a critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and collaboration.
Bonnie Morris of the second Greenwood Girl Guides has asked Let’s Talk Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology back to her Guide group on several occasions. “We love the ready made hands-on engaging workshops from the Outreach program,” comments Morris. “We could not have developed any thing close to the caliber the workshops teach, as we don’t have the knowledge or the financial resources. The university student volunteers are enthusiastic about science and it shows in their presentations. Our girls see that science is fun and when we have female volunteers teach them, they also see that this type of study is not just for boys! We cannot thank the Let’s Talk Science program enough.”
Let’s Talk Science Outreach can be found at over 40 post-secondary sites across Canada, with over 3,500 active, trained volunteers. Let’s Talk Science is an award-winning, national, charitable organization focused on education and outreach to support youth development. We create and deliver unique learning programs and services that engage children, youth and educators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). For more information, please visit www.letstalkscience.ca.