Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Let's Talk Science

Last week, I attended a short presentation about Let's Talk Science, a national outreach program that, among other things, pairs university students with elementary and high schools to give presentations to kids about science and engineering. The Carleton University Women in Science and Engineering group I'm an executive for is trying to help out with many outreach programs, at least by finding volunteers from our member base. But Let's Talk Science is the one outreach initiative that excites me enough to make it my "pet project".

The first thing that struck me is how well organized the Ottawa University/Carleton liaisons were. As we arrived to the presentation, we were given a comprehensive information package along with some free pizza. Part of that package included a code to help you register as a volunteer on the national website. There is going to be a four hour long orientation session next week at Ottawa U, and it sounds like it will be both informative and rather fun (based on the promise of flashy science experiment demos).

Looking through the different areas of expertise that a volunteer could cover is almost overwhelming. No matter what you are best at, you can present it! Apparently there are many "kits" available to volunteers for hands-on activities. I'm curious about what they might have for computer science, though I think I'd like to do some CS Unplugged activities regardless. I'm sure I will learn more at or after the orientation.

When I signed up as a volunteer, I had the chance to list the schools I was most interested in partnering with. So, naturally, I chose my mom's high school (where she is a special education teacher), the high school I went to, and the elementary school on my street. I can't wait to get in contact with these schools and start arranging some presentations!


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