For seven years between 2005 and 2012 Science World in Vancouver hit the road to schools around the province with a travelling science show, visiting one million students to build interest in science in the province’s youngest learners.
The program was funded by government and donors but when the finances dried up, the program was shelved.
That is until this year when Science World is once again out on the road with a plan to hit some 30,000 students outside of Vancouver, funding the program itself.
And judging by the reaction of students at Ellison Elementary on Tuesday afternoon, the program is a major hit with kids, who were fired up by Science World’s Fantastic Forces show, demonstrating gravity and friction in a fun and interactive way.
“That show went really well,” said Science World On the Go team leader and program coordinator Stephan Adamus, one of two Science World employees putting on shows at Kelowna schools this week. “It was great for us to see. We want kids to get excited about science and learning and maybe we can teach them about some of the concepts of science that are in their curriculum.”
The Science World On the Road Program is visiting eight Kelowna area schools week, sometimes running two different shows. Adamus has prepared shows that are relevant from kindergarten to Grade 3, K to Grade 7, Grade 4 to Grade 7 as well as a workshop for high school students. On Friday during a pro-D day, a Science World science curriculum specialist will share techniques with local teachers to help them incorporate inquiry-based science learning into their classrooms.
“To us it’s important to show the kids that science is more than just lab work and vigorous testing and studies,” said Adamus. “It can be really interesting and fun and if you can get kids excited about it, you can generate better learning and critical thinkers.”
Between September 2015 and June 2016, the On The Road team will go to 17 communities across the province. Adamus says his goal is to reach every student in the province outside of Vancouver over the next five years.
“I remember as a kid when Science World opened up. I loved it so much but it’s only in Vancouver,” he said. “To be able to think we can take a really cool piece of what we do at Science World to as many kids as we can around the province is wonderful and so important.”
For more on the program check out the group’s web site at scienceworld.ca/ontheroad