Volunteers/Outreach Woman doing an experiment with a group of children

Rania Khelifi

Rania Khelifi
Let’s Talk Science Outreach Volunteer at Simon Fraser University

Rania has delivered many Let’s Talk Science workshops and feels the best way to help promote the sciences to youth is through engaging programs that enable curiosity and discovery!

Time volunteering with Let’s Talk Science: 3 years

Area of study: Biomedical Physiology major; department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Inspirational Moment: The students that attend our workshops come to learn and experience science first hand. However, the volunteers from the program not only develop and improve their communication and teaching skills but also learn a whole lot from the students as well. A particularly inspiring moment for me was when I facilitated the Stomp rockets kit in French to a group that came to SFU Burnaby for the workshop. After building the rockets with the group, I took the students outside to a grassy. One by one I called the students up to launch their rockets as their classmates watched and cheered them on. At one point, I called a student up to launch her rocket. As she stepped on the soda bottle to launch her rocket only the top came off, while the body of the rocket remained on the end of the tube. We tried one more time with little success. The look of disappointment was obvious on the child’s face. The students continued to launch their rockets, until it was time for another little girl to go. What this girl did not only amazed me but also inspired me. When she came up to launch her rocket, she called on her classmate who didn’t have success launching her rocket. Together, they each placed one foot on the soda bottle and launched that rocket together. They both stared up into the sky at their rocket with huge smiles on their faces. This little girl’s kindness truly inspired me and helped me realize that there is always something we can do to make things better.

Favourite Let’s Talk Science volunteering activity: I enjoy delivering many of the Let’s Talk Science workshops, as they are all well-designed and fun to teach. If I had to pick, one of my favorite workshops would be the DNA extraction kit. DNA Extraction is really fun to teach as the volunteer gets to lead the students through the different steps of the extraction process, ask them questions regarding why each step is performed and teach the class about the scientific method and the basics about DNA. The teachers that request this workshop typically teach higher-grade levels and so I am able to delve a bit deeper into the scientific concepts with the class, rendering this workshop both interesting to teach and learn as a student.

Why do you volunteer with Let’s Talk Science? I find it very rewarding teaching for Let’s Talk Science. I think the best way to help promote the sciences to youth is through these types of engaging programs that enable curiosity and discovery.

Fun fact: I’m obsessed with French music. My playlists are predominantly in French.