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Important Information about the Let’s Talk Science Challenge

Important Information about the Let’s Talk Science Challenge

Why participate in the Challenge?

This event series is both fun and challenging! The Let’s Talk Science Challenge supports the development of positive attitudes towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which leads to sustained interest in these areas in high school.

At a time when students are on the cusp of making important decisions about their high school course choices, participation in the Let’s Talk Science Challenge gives them a unique, positive experience with STEM. There is no charge to participate, so everyone can join!

What does the Let’s Talk Science Challenge look like?

The Let’s Talk Science Challenge is a competition that takes place in the spring of each year for students in Grade 6-8 across Canada. It includes a question and answer competition and an engineering challenge. 

Preparation for the competition is important. Students will work in teams or individually to learn STEM concepts provided in a handbook prior to the competition. There will also be practice quizzes and design and build challenges available weekly throughout the Play & Learn weekly activities portion. 

Please note that the 2022 Let’s Talk Science Challenge will only be offered virtually.

Schedule for the Challenge

November 1st : Registration opens
January 10 : Sending registration package
February 1st : Handbook published
Mid-February to end of April : Play & Learn Weekly Activities (preparation)
The Play & Learn Weekly activities include weekly quizzes and design and build challenges to help students prepare for the final culminating events (competition).  The quizzes are meant to help students prepare for the Final Question and Answer Competition and the Design and Build Challenges for the Final Engineering Challenge. Each week, during 10 weeks, we will cover a new topic that comes from the Study Handbook. 

The 2022 Play & Learn Activities are only offered virtually.
May to mid-june : Final culminating Events (competition)
The Final Culminating Events are the competition portion of the Let’s Talk Science Challenge. Each spring, students will compete against each other during a Question and Answer Competition and a Final Engineering Challenge that covers the entire Study Handbook. Students will also showcase their team spirit and their love of STEM by trying to win the Lorna Collins Spirit Award. 

The 2022 Final Culminating Events are only offered virtually.

Mid-june : Winners announcement

The complete schedule, date and locations of events will be posted each year around November 1st. Keep an eye out for the event cards in the event section of our website. 

Who should participate in the Challenge?

The Challenge is geared toward students in Grades 6, 7 and 8. We think students in any grade can have fun learning STEM! This is why the activities offered during the Play & Learn portion are open to anyone. Note that only students in Grades 6,7 and 8 can officially compete in the final culminating events.

How many people can register for the Challenge?

Thanks to our virtual platform, there is no limit to the number of students who can participate, you’re invited to register an individual student, a small team or even a whole class.

How many students in a team?

You don’t need to have a team to participate in the practice events, but all students will need to register under a team to participate in the Final Culminating Events (competition). For the virtual activities, a team needs to be of minimum 1 student without any limit. 

How do I register students for the Challenge?

Registration opens in November each year. Students must be registered by a teacher or caregiver, they cannot register themselves.
Registration for the Play and Learn Weekly Activities will remain open until the end of the program. For the Final Culminating Events, registration closes 2 weeks before the event takes place.

I am a caregiver that is doing home schooling. Can I register?
Even though we used the terms students and educators, any adult can register any youth to the Challenge - even  if you are the leader of a community group. Please note that only adults can register.

I am a teacher in a school and have multiple classes. Can I register all my classes under one form?
Yes. You simply have to let us know the total number of students and teams you are registering. You can also register for another teacher at the same school, but know that you will be the one receiving all the communications and responsible for distributing them appropriately. 

Complete our interest form to be notified when registration opens.

How do students prepare for the Challenge?

Students should study from the Let’s Talk Science Challenge Study Handbook (available in February) and participate in the Play & Learn Weekly Activities offered between mid-February until the end of April. The Play & Learn Weekly Activities include live quizzes and practice for the engineering challenge through our series of design and build challenges.

What is the Let’s Talk Science Challenge Study Handbook?

The Study Handbook uses a variety of methods to engage students in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering & Technology, Environmental Sciences, Math, Physics and Space Sciences. Some topics are relevant to what they’re learning in school, while others give them a sneak peek of what they will learn in years to come. 

The Let’s Talk Science Challenge Study Handbook has everything students need to study in preparation for the quiz portion of the event. The Handbook is available on February 1st on our website. 

How can we participate?

The Let’s Talk Science Challenge 2022 is fully virtual. Your students can participate if they are by themselves at home or together in a classroom. 

All the live activities (weekly quizzes and final question and answer competition) will be through a secure Zoom Webinar account. A link to access a live broadcast on YouTube will be available on-demand, but note that some of the interactive features might not be available on YouTube. Recordings of all the live activities will also be available on-demand. 

For the asynchronous activities (Design and Build Challenges, Final Engineering Challenge and Lorna Collins Spirit Award), we will use Flipgrid. Students who are registered will be able to submit a video and watch the other submissions. All videos are reviewed by Let’s Talk Science before being published. Students can record their videos without sharing their voice or face. It is also possible to submit a photo montage. The Flipgrid pages are protected by usernames. Only the registered students, their educators, Let’s Talk Science employees and volunteers can access the page. 

Do my students have to participate in everything?

Not at all. There are two ways to register. 

First one is to register for the Final Culminating Events. By doing so you will automatically be registered to any of the practice activities happening during the Play and Learn Weekly Activities as well as all the Final Culminating Events. 

The second option is to register for the Play and Learn Weekly Activities only (practice). You will automatically receive all the information to participate in all the weekly quizzes as well as all the design and build challenges, but your students can’t compete in the Final Culminating Events. 

No matter which options you choose, your students don’t have to participate in all the activities. It is up to you to decide what you share with them. However, participating in more activities better prepares them for the competition, and gives them more chances to win prizes!

What are the languages that the Let’s Talk Science Challenge is offered in?

All the activities, events and resources presented during the Let’s Talk Science Challenge are available in French and English. Students can participate in any combination of both if they want to. As an example, a French immersion class could do the Play and Learn Weekly Activities in French and the Final Culminating Events in English.  The adult that registers will need to fill in the English and the French form. However, only the first participation will count during the Final Culminating Events towards their score.