Mu­seum event pro­motes science, tech­nol­ogy

The Prince George Citizen - - Front Page - Chris­tine HINZMANN Cit­i­zen staff

It was all about get­ting your hands dirty at the The Ex­plo­ration Place as chil­dren and adults dis­cov­ered free STEAM on Satur­day.

That’s science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing, art + de­sign and math­e­mat­ics for those of you who want to be in the know about the coolest things.

John Adams brought grand­sons Fletcher, 9, and Har­ri­son, 6, to the mu­seum to check out the Terry Fox ex­hibit called Run­ning to the Heart of Canada, and hap­pened upon STEAM Learn­ing Ecosys­tems in the foyer.

Har­ri­son had just come from check­ing out the minia­ture bridges with Adams, while Fletcher was wrist deep in blue goop, also known as silly putty, that the UNBC chem­istry lab guys were help­ing chil­dren cre­ate.

Fletcher was tak­ing his cue from Dy­lan Fossl from UNBC and seemed de­lighted by the process of mak­ing his own goop.

“We’re hav­ing good fun,” Adams, who has a mem­ber­ship to The Ex­plo­ration Place, said.

“I love it that the kids can in­ter­act with stuff like this – that way they learn more than they think they’re learn­ing.”

Adams also dis­cov­ered you’re never to old to learn a thing or two.

“I got some in­for­ma­tion from Todd (Whit­combe, UNBC as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor) about con­struc­tion and I’m ac­tu­ally go­ing to have to go home and have a look at it,” Adams said.

It’s all about old-time con­struc­tion that in­cluded weav­ing wil­low branches and se­cur­ing it with mud, Adams added.

“Not that I need to build any­thing like that but now that I’ve got a lit­tle tip I’m go­ing to look into it,” Adams said.

Ja­clyn Bax­ter, Tech Up fa­cil­i­ta­tor, took the lead in or­ga­niz­ing the STEAM ac­tiv­i­ties at The Ex­plo­ration Place. Science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing, art + de­sign and math­e­mat­ics are the fields that need fo­cused learn­ing, Bax­ter said.

“We see there are gaps in these ca­reers – where they are head­ing and what kids are learn­ing in their ear­lier years,” Bax­ter said.

A high per­cent­age of jobs the cur­rent el­e­men­tary-school aged chil­dren will be do­ing have not even been cre­ated yet, she added.

“So those will in­volve tech­nol­ogy, cod­ing, dif­fer­ent sci­en­tific meth­ods, right?” Bax­ter said.

“So there’s a huge gap be­tween what we’ve been teach­ing kids and what they need to know. So what STEAM Learn­ing Ecosytems orig­i­nated as was a way to get kids in­ter­ested in these fields and to show that it is ac­ces­si­ble and it’s not scary. It’s fun and we’re do­ing stuff like this to show them that they can do these things.”

And there are ca­reers that are geared to­ward all the ac­tiv­i­ties show­cased dur­ing the event, she added.

There were sev­eral de­mon­stra­tions in­clud­ing ex­plor­ing dif­fer­ent types of dirt, mak­ing silly putty, build­ing a bridge that would ac­tu­ally stay put, and dis­cov­er­ing the un­der bel­lies of in­sects.

Chil­dren had the op­tion to fill out a pass­port by com­plet­ing six ac­tiv­i­ties so they could be en­tered into a draw to win prizes.

Some of the in­for­ma­tion booths in­cluded Science World, The Ex­plo­ration Place, Two Rivers Gallery, Tech-Up Robotics, Dr. Luke Har­ris from the UNBC phys­i­ol­ogy de­par­ment, Dr. Todd Whit­combe from UNBC chem­istry de­part­ment and Science Magic with The Ex­plo­ration Place’s Science Guy, Chris­tian.

We see there are gaps in these ca­reers – where they are head­ing and what kids are learn­ing in their ear­lier years.

— Ja­clyn Bax­ter, Tech Up fa­cil­i­ta­tor

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.