Over 90 delegates attended the 3rd annual WILD ABOUT SCIENCE Symposium – participating in hands-on workshops, sharing experiences and working together to generate new ideas for innovative Odyssey activities. Richmond School District hosted the event November 7, 2009 at one of their Odyssey schools, Steveston-London Secondary.
After networking and opening remarks, delegates were exposed to valuable teaching resources on the main stage. Pacific CRYSTAL’s Dr. Eileen van der Flier-Keller led an interactive Earth Odyssey activity to demonstrate instructional strategies that encourage scientific thinking in students. Science World’s David Savory was a big hit by showing teachers how using a little fun to demonstrate scientific effects can help engage students and get them excited about science.
Several Odyssey Schools showcased their unique programs including how to implement new technology in the classroom, utilizing robotics programs to expose students to engineering processes, and diverse enrichment activities that touch students in many different ways to create a lasting, sustainable impact.
Afternoon workshop subjects ranged from Stories in Stone, Fuel Cell Cars and A New Spin on Motion to Science Fairs and A Starry Night. Delegates also examined topics during small group discussions that focused on using technology in the classroom, maximizing lab equipment purchases, developing science performance standards, addressing sustainability challenges and exploring Career Discovery opportunities.
A team of students from Dr. Charles Best Secondary shared an update on their math program and helped developed other ideas for student mentoring, leadership and environmental stewardship opportunities. Odyssey partners like Pacific CRYSTAL, Science World, HR Macmillan Space Centre, Michael Smith Labs at UBC and BC Innovation Council worked directly with teachers and students to act as catalysts by sharing their expertise and stimulating creative ideas. Mitchell Odyssey Foundation Board Members hosted the workshops and helped facilitate discussions. Networking cards encouraged delegates to exchange ideas and turn Odyssey ideas into actions back in the classroom.
Following presentation of Odyssey Outstanding Achievements Awards, Richmond Superintendent Dr. Bruce Beairsto provided thought-provoking closing comments about the importance of truly engaging students by instilling a curiousity about science and developing an inquisitive mind.
Thanks to everyone who participated and helped make Odyssey Symposium ’09 a tremendous success. In the words of one Odyssey Teacher: “The conference was great. I always find the best Pro-D is when bright, motivated people share their ideas and expertise. This is what Saturday was. May have been the best Pro-D day I have done in 16 years of teaching!!!”
The Odyssey Schools Network now supports 65 schools covering 18 School Districts, engaging over 40,000 students in science enrichment opportunities.