Etobicoke elementary students explore STEM camp

News Jul 21, 2017 by Tamara Shephard Etobicoke Guardian

Six-year-old Roshayla Owens focuses on attaching the small, red plastic wheels with sticks to her cardboard car.

It’s summer vacation.

But school’s in for Roshayla and approximately 40 Elmbank Junior Middle Academy students in grades 1 to 8 who attended a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) camp last week at the Finch Avenue West and Martin Grove Road area school.

“We make a lot of cool stuff. We made a train yesterday and a paper airplane,” said Roshayla, who is in Grade 1.

Roshayla said she likes math: “I got an A+ in math on my report card. I like math. It’s easy.”

The University of Toronto Engineering Outreach office’s ENGage in Your Community weeklong summer camp is intended to encourage STEM literacy while having fun.

Actua, a national charity that provides STEM educational programs to students, stopped by the Finch Avenue West and Martin Grove Road elementary school last Friday. The Actua team is halfway through its nation-wide travelling science and technology workshops and exhibitions called Innovation150 tour, which is supported by a Canadian government grant.

Ean Gutierrez, 7, got busy making the car.

“We made boats, airplanes and a house. We’re doing temperature today to see if it’s going to be hot or cold,” he said of the weather station students would program with a microcontroller and coding. “Whoever’s station stays cold wins.”

Science Minister Kirsty Duncan dropped in on grades 1 and 2 students to observe their STEM camp fun.

“Science can take you on an adventure,” said Duncan, Canada’s first minister of science, who is the area’s Liberal MP, as she sat down to talk with three Grade 2 girls. “I got to go almost to the North Pole and lead an expedition.”

Duncan is a former scientist, medical geographer and associate professor of health science at U of T who holds a PhD in geography. In the late 1990s, she led an international expedition to find frozen samples of the 1918 Spanish flu.

Duncan’s mandate as federal science minister involves the creation of a chief science officer to ensure scientists may speak freely about their work; the review and reform of Canada’s environmental assessment processes to ensure decisions are based on science, facts and evidence; and supporting the employment minister to create more student co-op placements in STEM, and business programs.

Duncan then spoke with the girls about Koko the female gorilla, known for having learned sign language. The girls knew much about Koko, including that she understood as many as 800 signs.

“Do we love science?” Duncan asked the girls. All but one nodded. “Do you want to be scientists or go into space or be engineers when you grow up?”

Two girls said they want to be teachers; the other wants to be an artist.

Principal Aldona Volunge said the STEM camp helps students who may struggle in those subjects to gain confidence.

“We’re trying to engage their interest in those subjects,” Volunge said. “If they say, ‘boy, look what I can do with math, look what I can do with science,’ it’s a great motivator.”

STEM camp might also spark students’ future career aspirations, she added, noting studies show students start thinking about a career as early as grades 4 and 5.

“Young people will become the decision-makers in society,” Volunge said. “Whether it’s climate change or the effects of chemicals on the body, the more kids we can get interested in it (the better). We need scientists and engineers.”

ENGage is a collaboration between the University of Toronto’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and the university’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.

Dawn Britton, associate director of the University of Toronto’s Engineering Outreach office, said ENGage aims to help kids feel more comfortable and competent in science, math and engineering.

“The idea is to get kids excited about math, science and engineering, and also to expose them to things they’re not necessarily exposed to in the classroom,” Britton said, noting U of T engineering undergrad students act as ENGage mentors.

“We want them to talk with their family and friends about what they learned while having fun. It’s kind of disguising math. At the end of the day, they were doing calculus and probability. Who knew?”

It is the first year the ENGage STEM summer camps are being offered at U of T’s campus and in Toronto public schools, Britton added.

“Principals here are leading a STEM movement to get kids in the area interested in science, technology and engineering,” Britton said.

This week, U of T’s ENGage STEM camp is taking place down the street from Elmbank at Greenholme Junior Middle School in Jamestown.

Etobicoke elementary students explore STEM camp

Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan drops in to talk science with kids

News Jul 21, 2017 by Tamara Shephard Etobicoke Guardian

Six-year-old Roshayla Owens focuses on attaching the small, red plastic wheels with sticks to her cardboard car.

It’s summer vacation.

But school’s in for Roshayla and approximately 40 Elmbank Junior Middle Academy students in grades 1 to 8 who attended a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) camp last week at the Finch Avenue West and Martin Grove Road area school.

“We make a lot of cool stuff. We made a train yesterday and a paper airplane,” said Roshayla, who is in Grade 1.

Roshayla said she likes math: “I got an A+ in math on my report card. I like math. It’s easy.”

The University of Toronto Engineering Outreach office’s ENGage in Your Community weeklong summer camp is intended to encourage STEM literacy while having fun.

Actua, a national charity that provides STEM educational programs to students, stopped by the Finch Avenue West and Martin Grove Road elementary school last Friday. The Actua team is halfway through its nation-wide travelling science and technology workshops and exhibitions called Innovation150 tour, which is supported by a Canadian government grant.

Ean Gutierrez, 7, got busy making the car.

“We made boats, airplanes and a house. We’re doing temperature today to see if it’s going to be hot or cold,” he said of the weather station students would program with a microcontroller and coding. “Whoever’s station stays cold wins.”

Science Minister Kirsty Duncan dropped in on grades 1 and 2 students to observe their STEM camp fun.

“Science can take you on an adventure,” said Duncan, Canada’s first minister of science, who is the area’s Liberal MP, as she sat down to talk with three Grade 2 girls. “I got to go almost to the North Pole and lead an expedition.”

Duncan is a former scientist, medical geographer and associate professor of health science at U of T who holds a PhD in geography. In the late 1990s, she led an international expedition to find frozen samples of the 1918 Spanish flu.

Duncan’s mandate as federal science minister involves the creation of a chief science officer to ensure scientists may speak freely about their work; the review and reform of Canada’s environmental assessment processes to ensure decisions are based on science, facts and evidence; and supporting the employment minister to create more student co-op placements in STEM, and business programs.

Duncan then spoke with the girls about Koko the female gorilla, known for having learned sign language. The girls knew much about Koko, including that she understood as many as 800 signs.

“Do we love science?” Duncan asked the girls. All but one nodded. “Do you want to be scientists or go into space or be engineers when you grow up?”

Two girls said they want to be teachers; the other wants to be an artist.

Principal Aldona Volunge said the STEM camp helps students who may struggle in those subjects to gain confidence.

“We’re trying to engage their interest in those subjects,” Volunge said. “If they say, ‘boy, look what I can do with math, look what I can do with science,’ it’s a great motivator.”

STEM camp might also spark students’ future career aspirations, she added, noting studies show students start thinking about a career as early as grades 4 and 5.

“Young people will become the decision-makers in society,” Volunge said. “Whether it’s climate change or the effects of chemicals on the body, the more kids we can get interested in it (the better). We need scientists and engineers.”

ENGage is a collaboration between the University of Toronto’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and the university’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.

Dawn Britton, associate director of the University of Toronto’s Engineering Outreach office, said ENGage aims to help kids feel more comfortable and competent in science, math and engineering.

“The idea is to get kids excited about math, science and engineering, and also to expose them to things they’re not necessarily exposed to in the classroom,” Britton said, noting U of T engineering undergrad students act as ENGage mentors.

“We want them to talk with their family and friends about what they learned while having fun. It’s kind of disguising math. At the end of the day, they were doing calculus and probability. Who knew?”

It is the first year the ENGage STEM summer camps are being offered at U of T’s campus and in Toronto public schools, Britton added.

“Principals here are leading a STEM movement to get kids in the area interested in science, technology and engineering,” Britton said.

This week, U of T’s ENGage STEM camp is taking place down the street from Elmbank at Greenholme Junior Middle School in Jamestown.

Etobicoke elementary students explore STEM camp

Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan drops in to talk science with kids

News Jul 21, 2017 by Tamara Shephard Etobicoke Guardian

Six-year-old Roshayla Owens focuses on attaching the small, red plastic wheels with sticks to her cardboard car.

It’s summer vacation.

But school’s in for Roshayla and approximately 40 Elmbank Junior Middle Academy students in grades 1 to 8 who attended a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) camp last week at the Finch Avenue West and Martin Grove Road area school.

“We make a lot of cool stuff. We made a train yesterday and a paper airplane,” said Roshayla, who is in Grade 1.

Roshayla said she likes math: “I got an A+ in math on my report card. I like math. It’s easy.”

The University of Toronto Engineering Outreach office’s ENGage in Your Community weeklong summer camp is intended to encourage STEM literacy while having fun.

Actua, a national charity that provides STEM educational programs to students, stopped by the Finch Avenue West and Martin Grove Road elementary school last Friday. The Actua team is halfway through its nation-wide travelling science and technology workshops and exhibitions called Innovation150 tour, which is supported by a Canadian government grant.

Ean Gutierrez, 7, got busy making the car.

“We made boats, airplanes and a house. We’re doing temperature today to see if it’s going to be hot or cold,” he said of the weather station students would program with a microcontroller and coding. “Whoever’s station stays cold wins.”

Science Minister Kirsty Duncan dropped in on grades 1 and 2 students to observe their STEM camp fun.

“Science can take you on an adventure,” said Duncan, Canada’s first minister of science, who is the area’s Liberal MP, as she sat down to talk with three Grade 2 girls. “I got to go almost to the North Pole and lead an expedition.”

Duncan is a former scientist, medical geographer and associate professor of health science at U of T who holds a PhD in geography. In the late 1990s, she led an international expedition to find frozen samples of the 1918 Spanish flu.

Duncan’s mandate as federal science minister involves the creation of a chief science officer to ensure scientists may speak freely about their work; the review and reform of Canada’s environmental assessment processes to ensure decisions are based on science, facts and evidence; and supporting the employment minister to create more student co-op placements in STEM, and business programs.

Duncan then spoke with the girls about Koko the female gorilla, known for having learned sign language. The girls knew much about Koko, including that she understood as many as 800 signs.

“Do we love science?” Duncan asked the girls. All but one nodded. “Do you want to be scientists or go into space or be engineers when you grow up?”

Two girls said they want to be teachers; the other wants to be an artist.

Principal Aldona Volunge said the STEM camp helps students who may struggle in those subjects to gain confidence.

“We’re trying to engage their interest in those subjects,” Volunge said. “If they say, ‘boy, look what I can do with math, look what I can do with science,’ it’s a great motivator.”

STEM camp might also spark students’ future career aspirations, she added, noting studies show students start thinking about a career as early as grades 4 and 5.

“Young people will become the decision-makers in society,” Volunge said. “Whether it’s climate change or the effects of chemicals on the body, the more kids we can get interested in it (the better). We need scientists and engineers.”

ENGage is a collaboration between the University of Toronto’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and the university’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.

Dawn Britton, associate director of the University of Toronto’s Engineering Outreach office, said ENGage aims to help kids feel more comfortable and competent in science, math and engineering.

“The idea is to get kids excited about math, science and engineering, and also to expose them to things they’re not necessarily exposed to in the classroom,” Britton said, noting U of T engineering undergrad students act as ENGage mentors.

“We want them to talk with their family and friends about what they learned while having fun. It’s kind of disguising math. At the end of the day, they were doing calculus and probability. Who knew?”

It is the first year the ENGage STEM summer camps are being offered at U of T’s campus and in Toronto public schools, Britton added.

“Principals here are leading a STEM movement to get kids in the area interested in science, technology and engineering,” Britton said.

This week, U of T’s ENGage STEM camp is taking place down the street from Elmbank at Greenholme Junior Middle School in Jamestown.