High tech immersion

- August 15, 2006

A camper inspects an insect in a Petri dish

From inspecting bugs, to building and racing solar-powered cars, Aboriginal youth explored the wonders of science and engineering first-hand this summer. The students (ranging in age from eight to 12), experienced fun, hands-on activities in unique science camps offered by DalhousieÕs SuperNOVA Science and Engineering.

The Nova Scotia camp ran from August 7 Ð 11 in Pictou Landing (in partnership with the Pictou Landing Band Council). Campers had the opportunity to explore the world around them through chemistry, physics, engineering, technology, and life sciences activities and projects. On the final day of camp, parents and family members worked on projects with the youth and learned about the science behind the projects from the campers themselves.

Early this summer, SuperNOVA delivered another weeklong science camp for Aboriginal youth in Charlottetown, PEI in partnership with Actua and the Native Council of Prince Edward Island. Actua is a national charitable organization that provides young Canadians of all backgrounds with positive learning experiences in science, technology and engineering. SuperNOVA is the only member of Actua in Nova Scotia.

ÒSuperNOVA is dedicated to ensuring that youth are engaged in fun and educational scientific exploration,” explains Mark Zwicker, SuperNOVAÕs Program Coordinator. ÒBy reaching underrepresented youth early on we can nurture positive feelings and attitudes towards science, which will translate into increased confidence, interest, and, eventually, increased participation in the sciences.”

SuperNOVA Science and Engineering is supported by DalhousieÕs Faculties of Science, Engineering, and Computer Science and operated by Dalhousie undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to summer day camp programs, classroom workshops, science clubs, and other community initiatives connect Dalhousie students with over 4,000 youth throughout Nova Scotia. As part of its 10th anniversary summer, the Pictou Landing camp is an example SuperNOVAÕs ongoing commitment to meaningful youth outreach.

SuperNOVAÕs outreach initiatives are made possible with the local support of Dalhousie University, NSERC, Research In Motion Ltd., Michelin North America, Schlumberger, ExxonMobil Canada Ltd., Natural Forces Technologies Inc., and the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia.  SuperNOVA also receives support from Actua and ActuaÕs National Funders: NSERC, Shell Canada Limited, LÕOrŽal Canada and the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation.


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