Steveston-London Secondary School in Richmond School District was host to more than 100 delegates attending the 4th annual WILD ABOUT SCIENCE Symposium on November 6, 2010. Educators from across BC participated in hands-on workshops, shared their expertise and worked together to generate new ideas for engaging students in science, technology and math.
Eric Jordan, President of the Premier’s Technology Council, provided opening remarks to set the tone for the day. UBC’s Leader of Education Innovation - keynote speaker Dr. Lorne Whitehead - provided thought-provoking insights on science innovation, change and leadership. He also stressed the need for students to work in collaborative, creative groups to come up with innovative solutions.
Several schools showcased their Odyssey programs including a unique “Stream to Sea” ecology field trip; a greenhouse program which impacts students throughout the school and community groups; Best Math Camps where students lead students; and diverse activities that involve all Junior science students to create a lasting, sustainable impact. Delegates also learned about various Career Discovery opportunities at Westport Innovations, CESEI at VGH and Archipelago Marine Research.
Many of the afternoon workshops explored an environmental sustainability theme, including biodiversity, sustainable high schools, the effect of plastics on the marine ecosystem and climate change impacts on the ocean. Hands-on activities include PomPom propulsion and process skills, an interactive Nature of Science card game and examining specimens from the new Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Odyssey teachers shared their expertise and resources for Robotics activities, using digital probes, exploring Physics, learning with iPads, using classroom responders and engaging students with “liveteacher” internet.
Odyssey partners from Science World, HR Macmillan Space Centre, Michael Smith Labs at UBC, U Vic Earth & Ocean Sciences, Vancouver Aquarium, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, Sierra Club and BC Science Teachers Association worked directly with participants 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 the presentations of Odyssey Outstanding Achievements Awards, MOF Chair and Founder Ross Mitchell provided closing comments and shared recent survey results on Canadian students attitudes towards science.
In the words of a few delegates:
“I attended the Symposium for the first time and I must tell you that I was impressed! The keynote speaker was fascinating, the sharing of resources was informative and helpful, and the workshops were extremely useful and practical. The day was full of professional development for me…”
“Once again another great Symposium. I love the energy and enthusiasm this group of teachers bring. Every year I am inspired, energized and eager to get back to my classroom with great ideas and an increased passion for my subject. This year was no exception.”