Science Outreach

Crossposted from the Scimatic Blog.

A few weeks ago, I took some time to do “science outreach” with my son’s Grade 3 class. Nothing fancy — the teacher had asked for volunteers for their¬†“Scientist in the Schools”¬†program. I had been the parent volunteer before, for units on recycling and insects, but this one was right up my alley because it was about physics.

It was supposed to be about Forces, but there wasn’t much on the Strong or Electroweak forces. It was all about simple machines that worked with or against gravity.

The program is quite good and Scientist Lisa was very well prepared with 10 demos, which were all linked together in a story about a penguin searching for her friend. I didn’t get to mention the role that the penguin plays in high energy physics.

The "mountain" the penguin must climb
The “mountain” the penguin must climb
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More supplies

The kids seemed to like it, and it was all good fun and taught them something.

The Scientists in the School group is a charity dedicated to hands-on learning of science. It’s not run by the school board itself, and each session costs in the range $150-$200. Our school is lucky that we have healthy fundraising that can support “extras” like this. I hope other schools also get the benefits of programs such as these.

Science Outreach