Students building science exhibits guided by STEAM professionals
$150 per class (up to 35 students)
Special rate valid fall 2021 only
Students grades 5-12 are encouraged to register
October or November 2021
Teachers, it is another wild and crazy school year! Spark Science Centre recognizes that, and would like to offer the DIY Science Centre program for a discounted rate of $150 per class (up to 35 students), thanks to the sponsor ConocoPhillips.
Don't worry, this will still be the high-quality and science-filled program it always is, but with a few virtual modifications to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. DIY Science Centre will still challenge students to build their own science exhibit, guided by Spark staff and local professionals. This program is designed to empower students to build, test, and collaborate on their unique prototypes.
***DIY Science Centre will be offered virtually until further notice
With the changing and challenging environment, Spark is open to helping teachers meet their needs. Email [email protected] to discuss payment options and timelines.
Thank you to Spark’s School Program Sponsor, ConocoPhillips.
Robin is a recently retired oil-industry (Geo)Physicist who firmly believes that science education should be fun for kids of all ages! Spark asked him how and here are some of his awesome examples.
"Much of physics can, with a little thought, be made to look like magic. For example, magnets that make something levitate: Newton's laws of motion making water rockets launch into the air; heat that powers movement in a simple engine. Add planet earth into the mix and we get magnetic fields causing Northern Lights; Mantle convection causing plate motion - which gives rise to earthquakes (and how to survive them), tsunamis (and how to survive them too
Throw 'Life' on Earth into the mix and I think we get the 'perfect storm' - how the physical planet facilitated the origin of Life in the first place - how Life has subsequently altered those conditions (eg by Oxygenating the atmosphere) - how the planet 'fought back' (anthropomorphism !!) and caused multiple mass Extinctions - and how Life has invariably recovered, albeit in a sometimes radically altered way (no more dinosaurs !!). And the story is far from over..."
Maura is an explorer and curious human. She started off her career with Imperial Oil, coding in assembler. Living through the Y2K hype she moved onto consulting for Omnilogic, a small start-up; clients included Canadian Pacific Railway, Imperial Tobacco and Pratt and Whitney. Her formal education in computer engineering helps her to make sense of the world.
As a young girl, Maura always asked “why”. She believes in STEM learning for all, inspiring others to ask their own “why” questions and search out the possible answers.
She is a keen hiker and cyclist. She is often heard saying “let’s continue on, and see what is around the next corner!”
Maura joined Spark as a volunteer in October 2019. Her interest in mentoring and coaching youth in robotics competitions was ignited through her most recent work with FIRST Robotics and then Community Robotics Training Association. She continues to share her passion for prototyping, exploring and experimenting with the Spark DIY Science Centre project.
Jesse is an inquisitive mind. He started of his career as a mechanical engineering designer in the HVAC industry and then moved on to work in the remote power generation field and is currently heavily involved in the technology community in Alberta. He helps small to medium sized technology companies develop and commercialize their products. These companies range from all industries from oil & gas, clean tech, robotics, forestry, logistics and unmanned vehicles.
Jesse joined Spark as a volunteer in November 2019 as a mentor to students with their prototyping design projects. He truly believes that STEM is crucial to today’s youth and an advocate to introducing more exposure to STEM related learning activities to all age groups. One of the mains reasons for him to begin volunteering in the Spark DIY Science Centre project was to share his knowledge in mechanical engineering design concepts and help students harness their creativity.
Teachers will be invited to virtual professional learning workshops led by TELUS Spark staff. These workshops will take a deeper dive into design thinking, and introduced teachers to brainstorming techniques that their students will use during the design process. Online resources will also be provided to assist teachers in their learning.
Teachers will be encouraged to show pre-recorded videos to their students to introduce DIY Science Centre, design thinking, and the concept of rapid idea generation (RIGs). Students will be invited to an online orientation to be introduced to the project and to take part in online workshops led by Spark staff.
Using their new brainstorming techniques, students will work in groups, of up to 3, to invent an exhibit and write a proposal for review. These proposals will be submitted to Spark staff for review through Google Docs, and once the feedback has been provided, students can proceed with building their prototypes.
The building of prototype exhibits will occur over a time period of a several weeks, with students and/or teachers acquiring materials on their own. The building phase involves continuous feedback, through scheduled in-class feedback sessions with Spark staff and mentors from the community. In-class visits will be dependent on school COVID-19 protocols.
Teachers are encouraged to organize a Celebration of Learning at their schools to give students the opportunity to showcase their prototype exhibits with other classes.