"Those science questions were so awesome! I'm going to get my sister to try this."
"That bottle trick was super cool! I want to go home and try. Science is really fun!"
Earlier this month, Let’s Talk Science Outreach volunteers from the University of Alberta heard these exclamations and more at the Servus Heritage Festival during the hands-on, minds-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities. For 3 days, Let’s Talk Science joined thousands of families and other local groups to celebrate Canada’s multicultural heritage. This was the first time Let’s Talk Science took part in the festival, helping to celebrate the festival’s 40th anniversary.
“All the children and youth with whom we interacted enjoyed the activities we offered,” recounts William Chan, Let’s Talk Science Outreach coordinator from University of Alberta. “There was no shortage of smiles, laughter, applause, excitement, and enthusiasm.” The University of Alberta is one of 41 Let’s Talk Science Outreach sites across Canada. More than 3,500 Outreach volunteers visit classrooms and participate in community events each year, helping youth develop critical thinking, problem-solving, questioning and creativity through STEM.
In partnership with the Edmonton Heritage Festival Association, Let’s Talk Science Outreach volunteers set-up a tented station to provide STEM activities and talk with children and families about how science surrounds us in everyday life. Visitors of all ages were lined up to take part in a variety of fun STEM activities—from trivia and science “tricks” to rockets and robocopters.
“Stomp rockets was by far the most popular activity,” says Chan. “This all-time favourite drew huge crowds, necessitating our making a sign to establish a queue. The children’s love for our activities spilled over to the adults, many of whom actively participated in the science fun.”
Learn more about Let’s Talk Science Outreach and/or request our volunteers for a community event or classroom visit, see http://www.letstalkscience.ca/Programs/Lets-Talk-Science-Outreach.