Kids explore mysteries of science at York’s science camp

Andrew FullerIt’s not often you’ll hear an almost nine-year-old rip through the words “deoxyribonucleic acid” or “kinesiology” without tripping over his tongue and scowling. But Andrew Fuller (right) of East York did it with a smile and wants to come back for more after attending York’s Science Explorations camp last week.

Fuller was one of about two dozen children who “chilled” in the lower level of the Lumbers Building during last week’s blazing hot days, learning some basic science and having a blast in the program’s inaugural session.

“As a not-for-profit outreach program, based out of the Faculty of Science & Engineering, the camp’s goal is to increase scientific literacy and appreciation in the community,” said Darlee Gerrard, manager, communications, alumni and special projects for the Faculty. “The curriculum offers fun, hands-on activities that engage and encourage youth to learn and explore topics in science and engineering.”

darlee gerrard and friend

Right: Student camper learns about DNA with Darlee Gerrard

During the week, students built models of DNA and the solar system, constructed a simple electric fan, transplanted a spider plant and played a number of quiz games to test their memories. A highlight of the week was science jeopardy where children competed in teams to answer science questions. Another popular game, murder mystery, introduced the concept of scientific investigation.

The most telling comment of the week came when Fuller made the editorial comment, “It’s not boring like science in school.”

The Science Explorations program is targeted to the immediate community around York in the adjacent Jane-Finch corridor and surrounding area but anyone is welcome. Sessions are open to children ages 8 to 11 (Grades 3 to 6) of all backgrounds, interests and aspirations.

Left: Science Explorations camper shows off his model of the solar system

The camp, which started July 10, runs for four weeks with two different weeks of curriculum. Most activities take place in ‘science’ labs in buildings within the Keele campus science precinct, but some are conducted outside in field and wooded areas on campus, to demonstrate the connections between life and environmental science.

For more information on the camp, visit the Science Explorations Web site, e-mail Darlee Gerrard or call ext. 22814.