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West Kelowna: Teaching the science of fun

High Touch High Tech
High Touch High Tech 'scientist' Brittany Bell (right) teaches a group of kids about molecules on Saturday at the Westbank Museum, while Alex Hurd practices the experiment.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

For some, thoughts of learning science go hand-in-hand with staring at a wall, drawing on a textbook and waiting for a school bell to ring.

But Cindy Chepil is doing away with the boring connotations by spicing up the elements of science.

Chepil's franchise, High Touch High Tech, recently got working in the Okanagan in September, 2011. Its aim is to teach science in a fun and interactive way.

"Everything is hands on. In school you typically learn from a textbook; we learn from doing it. Everything is learned in a fun manner," said Chepil.

High Touch High Tech has been the highlight of birthday parties, school presentations and Saturday science sessions at the Westbank Museum.

Chepil said that eight to 10 kids typically attend Science Saturdays at the museum. Many of those children are regular customers.

"We actually started Science Saturdays in December, just to give it a try. The kids (who) signed up the first time loved it and then came the next time," said Chepil.

Chepil noted that many of those children still come to the weekend science lessons on a regular basis.

The Saturday sessions focus on High Touch High Tech curriculum, which is designed to be fun and interactive; however, Chepil said that many “in-school field trips” that she offers local schools present lessons based on the B.C. curriculum.

The "scientists" who help instruct the Science Saturdays are all teachers, according to Chepil.

"The (Science) Saturdays are more fun stuff. For example, on Feb. 11 we're doing magnet makers. I don't think there's a learning outcome in the B.C. curriculum, in any grade, that they need to learn about magnets. But it's pretty cool, so we think they should learn about it."

Due to the success of the program Chepil plans to continue with Science Saturdays by featuring another set of eight-week sessions, starting in April.

The program is geared for children ages six to 12 and each Science Saturday costs $10 plus HST.

There are still sessions taking place, every Saturday, until March 3. For more information, visit www.sciencemadefunok.net or contact Chepil at 250-769-1446.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

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