A scientist smiling.

Close to 400 workshop presenters are at the front-line of Scientists in School, delivering high-quality hands-on STEM workshops in schools and communities across Ontario and Southern Alberta. Scientist Charlene, who presents Close Encounters of a Chemical Kind (Grade 7), Electricity: Get Charged! (Grade 6), and Light Up Your Life (Grade 4) in our Eastern Ontario region is one of them!

Charlene, who has a B.Sc. Honours in Biology and a M.Sc. in Biology (Cell Biology) from University of Ottawa, has been a Scientists in School presenter since 2014. Her career highlights include being a Research Technician in the department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa, Health Sciences Centre, and a Research Technician at the Ottawa Health Research Institute. Read all about Charlene, below!

Why is it important to get children excited about STEM early on?

Children are natural scientists. They have a curiosity about the world around them, are full of questions and not afraid to make mistakes. Giving them a safe place to explore, test their ideas and opportunities to think outside the box when they are young can only help them develop an appreciation for STEM. It might even inspire them early on to consider a career in STEM.

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?

I’ve always been fascinated by the natural world, especially as a child. I was really fortunate in high school to have an amazing biology teacher. His passion and enthusiasm for the subject fueled my curiosity, which guided me to continue my studies in university. My interest in biology has only grown since high school and university, and I continue to explore the natural world at every chance I get.

What are your favourite memories of being a Scientists in School presenter?

My favourite memories frequently involve one-on-one moments with students. I love when they share their ideas and dreams. I’m always encouraged by their enthusiasm and wide-eyed wonder. I especially love to work with the shy, quiet students because they remind me of myself when I was a child. It makes me so happy when I see them come out of their shells and become part of the conversation. My hope is that they continue to trust themselves and become more fearless in their STEM pursuits, and life in general.

We’re always looking for dynamic individuals to join our team. To become a Scientists in School STEM workshop presenter, visit our Careers page.