I commenced my 10th year at Scientists in School in October, 2010. I am still having as much fun today as when I started. Scientists in School is an award-winning organization that brings passionate scientists and technical experts, into over 20,000 elementary classrooms each year - the children become scientists in their classroom, under the guidance of passionate presenters. Teachers often call us the field trip that comes to their classroom and the impact in sparking science interest has been amazing.
Scientists in School began in 1989 in 40 Durham County (Ontario, Canada) Region classrooms as a pilot project of community scientists. Today 550,000 children and youth participate in 65 curriculum-aligned workshops across the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Guelph, Waterloo Region and Niagara Region, with outreach into rural and remote communities in other parts of Ontario. We have the largest elementary student reach of any science promotion organization or any science centre across Canada.
Scientists in School is a charitable organization. Schools pay a user fee to help cover the costs of these half-day, high-quality experiences. However, sponsorship dollars and in-kind donations have been a key success factor in our organization’s success - we are very much a partnership between community, schools and business. We subsidize every classroom workshop, thus increasing accessibility to all schools.
Ways to support our work are as follows and I've noted a few ways below, all of which we recognize in our printed materials and on our web site:
- Direct financial support that helps subsidize every classroom workshop
- Support of our fund for complimentary workshops for less affluent schools
- In-kind donations of science materials that stock our topic kits
- Supporting a particular topic Scientists in School brings to the classroom
I do workshops in “Air and Flight” for Grade 6 students, “Celestial Sleuths” (astronomy) for Grade 6 students, and “May the Force Be With You” (structures) For Grade 5 students.
I have been most fortunate to be associated with this organization over the past 10 years. It has opened many doors for me into other venues (see my “Joy of Flight” posted on http://30000feet.blogspot.com). During the March Break, I’ll be at OPG, Pickering teaching children how to read Star Finders for locating constellations and I’ll be having them construct mini-pneumatically controlled Canadarms. It should be lots of fun.
Please check out our website which is www.scientistsinschool.ca for more information.