July 17, 2014
This summer, many of our volunteers have been making the rounds to summer camps on and off campus. Doing outreach at summer camps is a good time to share the excitement and fun of science with children and youth. Below are some of the recent events our volunteers have had the chance to take part in.
Last week, Isabel Deslauriers, went to Rivière Beaudette and Sainte-Marthe and explored rockets with 5-10 year old Francophone youth. The camps are run with Centres Câlins Vaudreuil Soulanges in rural south western Quebec and this is the 4th year that Isabel has been visiting the camp to do engineering activities.
“It was great to get splashed a bit by the rockets since we had a heat wave,” recalls Isabel. “We talked about energy and forces. The kids got to design the ailerons and transfer their energy to the rocket (through a bicycle pump) to make them take off.”
This week, Isabel made a return visit to Sainte-Marthe. Kids pretended to be engineers and designed their airplanes and improve them to make the best flying airplanes.
Feedback from the kids was very positive. “I was really impressed by all the ideas people had. We were very creative. We used our imagination,” said one camper.
“I learned that airplanes have a lot of parts. I thought they only had a middle and two wings.” Recalled another.
Also this week in London, Ontario, volunteers from Let’s Talk Science Outreach at Western University took part in the Mini University Camp. This is a 1-week camp offered by Indigenous Services at Western University to bring Indigenous students, aged 12-16, on campus to experience university life and explore post-secondary opportunities. This year’s camp theme was wind. With that in mind, the volunteers brought activities related to weather and air pressure, including creating a ‘tornado in a box’ with dry ice.
Coming up at the end of July, Let’s Talk Science Outreach at the University of Guelph will be visiting a math camp in Teeswater as well as the Willow West Woods Neighbourhood Group Summer Camp in Guelph. Volunteers from the University of Alberta will be making their annual visits to the French Immersion summer camp run by Alliance Français for elementary school youth. They will be bringing activities relating to the human body as well as biogeography.
As summer continues, we hope to continue sparking curiosity in the minds of children and youth through summer camps and other community events. To see some of the public events that Let’s Talk Science Outreach are taking part in, check out the event listing.
With 3,121 students forming 821 teams, and accompanied by 262 teachers at 23 universities and colleges across Canada, the Let’s Talk Science Challenge certainly made a splash this year! Read on for some of our highlights from the 2014 Challenge.
Special, stormy greetings
George Kourounis, a Canadian Storm Chaser, opened the Let’s Talk Science Challenge with a welcome video greeting. His enthusiasm for science and exciting action footage from the field captivated the students at the start of the event.
Long distance dedication
Of the many highlights of the 2014 Challenge, we were especially inspired by a two-student team from a small town in Labrador who travelled over 600 km by ferry and car to participate and came in second place!
What’s in a name?
The students also came up with some very inventive names for their Challenge teams, including: The ‘Atoms’ Family, Cooler than Asbolute Zero, Free Radicals, Mathemagicians and Symbiotic Fungi. Many also dressed the part with themed costumes to match their high spirits at the Challenge.
And the winners are…
Making it all happen
We thank our sponsors for their generous support, which allows us to deliver the Challenge to so many students across the country. Special thanks go to Pfizer, national presenting sponsor of the Let’s Talk Science Challenge.