With over two million face to face hours of investigation each year, we know that our program makes a lasting impression. We often hear teachers say, “I book Scientists in School workshops year after year, my students love it”, parents exclaim “I wish I had this when I was in school!” or teenagers reflect that, “The days we had our Scientists in School workshop were days I looked forward to all year long”. Our most consistent success story continues to be that the Scientists in School program has left somebody with a changed attitude and new perception of science. Read through some of our favourite stories and testimonials below.
Alexandra is currently embarking on a career in biological sciences with hopes to specialize in either environmental toxicology or animal biology. She has always been interested in animals – she is an avid horseback rider and instructor – but a particular encounter with a special Scientists in School “friend” sparked an interest in science, solidified her love of animals and may have led to her chosen career path.
A visual learner, Alexandra thrived in a hands-on environment like the one Scientists in School provided in their workshops. “My favourite memory of Scientists in School occurred during a soil workshop. We were given the opportunity to hold a live millipede. While all the other kids were terrified to touch and hold Millie the Millipede, I was absolutely fascinated by her. Seeing these scientific concepts in action at such a young age truly captivated my interest,” she says. The hands-on, discovery-based learning environment turned that spark into a fire, leading Alexandra to choose her current career path.
Even at a young age, Alexandra’ life was impacted by her Scientists in School experiences. “By recognizing the passion I felt toward science, through the experiments and learning opportunities, I realized that I wanted science to be part of my life forever.” And, despite her busy schedule, she has volunteered some of her own time to assist others leading Scientists in School workshops because she wants students to feel the same spark for science that she did many years ago. “Scientists in School was something that I looked forward to every year,” she says. Why? “It provides a hands-on learning opportunity that is second to none. It allows students to apply the knowledge they learn in normal class time to experiments and problems that they see in real life.”
Annyatam is yet another living and breathing example of Scientists in School’s impact on the life of a child. After taking part in a Scientists in School workshop in the fourth grade, Annyatam insists that Scientists in School’s helped spark his intuition to pursue STEM.
“In grade four, I had a workshop at my school for Rocks and Minerals, which spurred an interest in collecting rocks and minerals for quite a few years after that,” says Annyatam. “After this workshop, I took a renewed interest in science, and by Grade 5, I knew I wanted to be an engineer.”
Annyatam just earned his Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and is actively looking to make a real impact in his field.
Still after all this time, his memories of Scientists in School are rich and filled with warm feelings.
“Scientists in Schools provides students with an outlook into the STEM fields, through the hands-on approach to learning,” says Annyatam. “This is great for kids, who may be searching to overcome their fear or lack of interest in STEM fields.”
The SiS workshop did not only influence Annyatam’s career path, but it also left a profound impression on his family as well.
His mother, Pritha Mukhopadhyay, was so inspired by the program as well, that she pursued becoming a Scientists in School presenter, a role in which she continues today.
As for future aspirations, Annyatam is incredibly interested in anything that would help engineers do their jobs quicker and more efficiently. His dream job would be to one day design software for some part of a power plant.
Though many years have passed since Annyatam was a Scientists in School student, he feels he knows one thing about our organization for certain. “Scientists in School has done an excellent job in creating a generation of kids who have become very conversant in, and aware of, science and technology.”
Currently finishing her final year of an Education degree at Queen’s University, Lindsey is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of kids. From a young age she knew she wanted to pursue a career in Education, and some positive early learning experiences helped solidify that choice.
One of those impactful learning experiences for Lindsey included Scientists in School workshops.
“Growing up in Pickering, Ontario, I was lucky enough to be able to participate in a number of Scientists in School workshops as a student. I remember that the whole class was always very excited for when Scientists in School was happening and we were never disappointed!” The workshops were different, they were exciting, and they made learning feel real and relatable for Lindsey and her classmates.
As a student, science wasn’t always Lindsey’s most beloved subject (she was much more of an athlete, to be honest); however, her experiences with Scientists in School workshops made an impact that has stayed with her well past her elementary school years. “I believe that these workshops helped me to get me excited for science lessons. I have always been a very visual and hands-on learner, so the interactive workshop approach was perfect for my learning style,” she recalls.
Now well on her way to becoming a classroom teacher, developing an enthusiasm for science learning is something that Lindsey hopes to instill in her future students. She is hopeful that they will be able to do that – at least in part – through Scientists in School workshop visits to her own classroom.
“Scientists in School had an impact on my journey as a student,” Lindsey says. “Each workshop is so different and unique in its own way. As a future classroom teacher, I know that I will welcome these workshops into my classroom.” And through the support of teachers and future teachers like Lindsey, Scientists in School workshops will continue to make an impact for science education for the future generation!