What does it mean to be a scientist?

Oct. 11, 2016

​"I get to meet rock star scientists! This is a big deal to me!" Federal Minister of Science, Hon. Kirsty Duncan and young scientists and Grade 4 students at Midnapore School couldn't wait to explore, to ask questions, and to share experiences.

When Ms. Barb Henry and her Grade 4 class arrived at TELUS Spark each day for five consecutive days, they knew they were arriving as scientists. TELUS Spark is a place where young scientists build new ideas.  While each week is personalized for each participating class, each day at Science School provides meaningful opportunities for hands-on activities and time with experts to spark a sense of wonder.  Each day this week provided new opportunities for comprehensive understanding as the class alongside Science School coordinator Donna Kipta investigated together, "How do our relationships with the natural world guide our choices for the future?"

The fifth and final day of the Science School week was an especially memorable day for considering this big idea, meeting an inspiring fellow scientist. Hon. Kirsty Duncan Federal Minister of Science was pleased to join the class conversation, and to invite TELUS Spark CEO Jennifer Martin in too. Together, the group discussed science, Science School, and our shared responsibilities for the natural world in which we live. Grade 4 learners were proud to work alongside such a notable expert and were pleased to connect their big idea to Hon. Duncan's invitation to simulate an arctic exploration. The group used the experience to begin to tackle the challenges associated with climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The class asked meaningful questions and shared their dynamic experiences throughout the week: seeing behind the scenes what makes TELUS Spark a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) facility, connecting exhibits and galleries to their big idea, and considering potential innovations to protect our natural world.

Like these Midnapore Grade 4's, classes are excited to get neurons firing at Chevron Open Minds Science School. Journals in hand, learners reflect and collaborate to solve authentic problems and spark a passion for learning through science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). Experiences provide students with the opportunity to explore while also developing new skills while inspiring ownership and stewardship.

At Science School and beyond, Campus Calgary / Open Minds is an innovative school program that brings the classroom to vibrant community settings. Teachers, students and community experts come together for a week-long curriculum-based experience, designed to meet the needs of each individual learner. The result is a catalyst for learning activities throughout the year that inspire and promote critical thinking and problem solving.

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How do our relationships with the natural world guide our choices for the future? Science Minister, Hon. Kirsty Duncan, and Midnapore Grade 4’s consider together the challenges and benefits of arctic scientific explorations at TELUS Spark.