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New program encourages Aboriginal students to pursue scientific careers

Posted by Samantha on May 11th, 2010 and filed under Gallery, Top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Shaylayna Staats makes fireworks in a Brock lab as part of the new Bridging Our Worlds Through Science program.

Shaylayna Staats makes fireworks in a Brock lab as part of the new Bridging Our Worlds Through Science program. Yellow fireworks, explains lab instructor Sergio Paone, get their colour from ordinary table salt.

About 25 Six Nations students are at Brock this week for a two-day program to encourage their interest in science.

Bridging Our Worlds Through Science is May 11 and 12 at the St. Catharines campus. The program includes hands-on lab projects, recreational activities and presentations by Aboriginal scientists.

“Aboriginal students are woefully under-represented in science and health sciences,” said Joe Engemann, the assistant professor of Education who conceived the program. “We want to encourage them to consider these areas of study for their future. This program is a first step in that direction.”

The Grade 10 students attend various high schools in the Grand Erie District School Board. This is the program’s inaugural year, but Engemann and the program’s co-ordinator, assistant professor Kamini Jaipal-Jamani, expect to hold it every year with an increasing number of students.

Sponsors cover the cost of the workshops, meals, transportation and accommodation in Brock’s residence rooms. Workshops include:

  • Flames, Fireworks and Explosions
  • Coffee Cups, DNA and Slime
  • Geology of the Great Lakes Region – a First Nations Perspective
  • Laser Holography

Amanda Hill, a third-year Community Health Sciences student, is one of several program volunteers from Brock’s Aboriginal community. Grade 10, Hill said, is a time when students are pressured to determine a career path.

“This gives them an opportunity to get out in the world and see labs and experiments, and experience the university environment,” she said.

The program has been developed in collaboration with Deneen Montour, GEDSB Native advisor.

Link:
Bridging Our Worlds information (PDF)

Shelby Bomberry, left, and Amanda Longboat make mirrors in a lab workshop at the two-day Bridging Our Worlds Through Science event.

Shelby Bomberry, left, and Amanda Longboat make mirrors in a lab workshop at the two-day Bridging Our Worlds Through Science event.

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