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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Shakespeare in Action workshops

Shakespeare in Action was established in 1988 by Founding Artistic Director, Michael Kelly. We continue to bring Shakespeare to young people across Ontario through innovative programs and critically acclaimed theatre productions.

Shakespeare in Action is a multi-racial theatre company that aspires to enhance the arts and education through exploring and performing Shakespeare's plays. We are dedicated to fostering literacy, enhancing creativity and promoting speech arts by making the language and stories of Shakespeare accessible and relevant to young audiences, their families and the community.

MyWorld (Grades 9 to 12)

MyWorld (Grades 9 to 12)

Alberta Education has licensed MediaSmarts' MyWorld resource for Grades 9 to 12 students.  MyWorld containstudent 3s information on authenticating online information, reputation and privacy management, dealing with online relationships and ethical use of the Internet. 

This resource can be accessed by Alberta teachers and students at no charge until August 31, 2013.

Travelling low vision clinics

Travelling low vision clinics represent a collaboration among the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, Alberta Education, CNIB and Alberta Health Services. These clinics are designed to provide comprehensive low vision care for children and youth in Alberta. An interdisciplinary approach is used in the clinics, bringing together resources from the fields of health and education and from the community to ensure that each child has the assessment, treatment plan and intervention that he or she requires pertaining to his or her visual impairment. The clinic team consists of an ophthalmologist, an optometrist, teachers for the visually impaired, and an orientation and mobility specialist. The travelling low vision clinics provide equitable access to all children and youth in the province. Parents, teachers, student services coordinators and other members of the school team are encouraged to attend the appointment.

  • January 29, 2013: Red Deer
    Red Deer Public School Administration Building
    4747 – 53 Street
  • March 5, 2013: Calgary
    15 Colonel Baker Place NE

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

McDonald’s To Give Away Books With Happy Meals

Along with burgers and fries, McDonald's is going to be serving up children's literacy. The fast food franchise is set to start offering books as the prize in children's Happy Meals

Friday, 11 January 2013

Industry in the Classroom: Indigenous Youth Career Seminars

Industry in the Classroom: Indigenous Youth Career Seminars

Industry in the Classroom are interactive and informative classroom sessions that connect Indigenous youth with information about career opportunities in growth industries. Recently, the program expanded into the mining and broadcasting sectors with three new modules. Other modules include Justice, Health, Railway, Transportation and Environmental Health Officer. Some modules were produced in French and Inuktitut. Contact Suzanne Bradley at to book a seminar in your classroom.

Rivers to Success: Mentoring Indigenous Youth

Rivers to Success focuses on positioning students for success as they make their transition into the workforce. By connecting established mentors who have excelled in their career with senior level students, a rewarding experience for both mentor and mentee develops. A wide range of topics from effective relationship building techniques, identifying the hidden rules of the workplace to strategies on how to build a rewarding and successful career are covered. The mentor's knowledge, insight, and experience guide the one-to-one discussions and complement the mentee's own knowledge, insight, and experience.

If you are interested in providing mentorship or being mentored, please contact Jay Pariseau-Zrien at

Knowledge building story Grade 4 class - Does light travel in a straight line or a wave?

An overview of how one Grade 4 class studied science illustrates the principles of
knowledge building. In an Ontario knowledge-building classroom, students addressed
real-world problems that are both meaningful to them and related to the curriculum

When the teacher introduced the subject of optics, one of the many topics on
the Ontario Curriculum of Science and Technology,11 he did not specify issues
for students to consider, or give them tasks and activities to complete. Students
themselves raised questions of importance to them, including how light travels,
sources of light, colours, lenses, mirrors and vision. They considered both factual
questions ("What are the primary colours?") and explanatory ones ("Why are the
colours of a rainbow always in the same order?").

Working collaboratively, often in small groups, students tracked down
, assessed its validity, shared research, proposed theories to explain
results, identified gaps and errors in their understanding, and refined their ideas.
As they jointly tackled these problems, students became adept at thinking
critically, while also developing the diplomatic skills necessary for honest but fair
feedback about each other's ideas.

While most nine-year olds are primarily interested in factual knowledge, this
cohort of knowledge builders zeroed in on the more complex issues addressed by
explanatory questions. As the teacher explained, "We encourage a process of
inquiry and ask 'why, why,' and not to be content with a superficial understanding.
As the students worked, they discovered information that appeared to be
contradictory. For instance, when considering how light travels, the students
learned that it travelled in a straight line. This concept was shaken, however,
when one child talked to an uncle with a science background, who introduced him to the concept of light waves. When this knowledge was shared with the class, it triggered a debate: does light travel as a straight line or as a wave?

One student accurately suggested the two can be synthesized: "Putting our
knowledge together…light travels in a straight line but it is a wave. Light is
made up of the electromagnetic waves
." This new insight then became the
subject of further discussion.

Knowledge building's emphasis on the twin principles of critical thinking and
rigorous evaluation of ideas
is a potential antidote to a problem that has been
the subject of considerable research: the fact that students can hold serious
misconceptions about subjects they excel in at school and university.

Although Canadian workers have more education than ever before, numerous surveys of business leaders suggest that employers are dissatisfied with their employees' so-called "soft" skills, such as teamwork, problem-solving, communication skills, and self-motivation. Recent research suggests that a learning strategy called knowledge building can help students acquire and develop these skills.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Environment Education (EE) in schools - 3A approach

Environment Education @ ESSS

1 Vision

1.1 The vision for Environment Education (EE) in East Spring Secondary is:

To nurture active individuals who demonstrate responsible environmental citizenry and contribute towards environmental sustainability.


1.2 To achieve the vision systematically, there is a need for an overarching approach for Environment Education that consists of three fundamental domains the 3A's - Awareness, Attitude, Action.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

FAST Programs: Family and Schools Learning Together

Safe Smart and Prepared

FAST™ is an award-winning set of preventive/early intervention after-school programs that has dramatically changed the learning climate at schools and communities all over the world. First released in 1990, this model has changed the way many people think of Parent Involvement, interventions...and how to keep kids safe, drug-free and in school.

FAST Programs

  • Connect parents and kids to their schools and communities
  • Promote community service and voluntary participation
  • Guide parents in building personal success assets in their kids
  • Build skills and change attitudes through experiential learning
  • Preserve precious classroom time through school-focused, extracurricular parental involvement
  • Assure that capable parents remain the primary agents of protection for their kids

Big Book Storytime

I had a wonderful time at Campbell Elementary School, presenting The Big Book Story Time: Little Cornbread Girl. Grades kindergarten through second grade attended the presentation. The story time was creative and interactive. Before my visit I supplied the teachers with the mask and sack puppets patterns, and the children used them at the story time. Later we compared the Cornbread Girl with the Gingerbread Boy, the students had really good thoughtful questions and answers. My hat goes off to the teachers at Campbell Elementary school.
To see pictures of the school visit, go to my site at, and visit us on our Facebook page.
I have a great big book of the Little Cornbread Girl. During story time, the students help me tell the story with the mask and sack puppets they made from the puppet patterns from the story (dog, cow, pig, horse, fox).

Bake some gingerbread or cornbread and turn the baking time into a math lesson (youth 6-12). Math is incorporated by measuring and using portion sizes of the ingredients used to make the gingerbread and cornbread. With the older youth, have them compare and contrast both stories using the Venn diagram method.

World Read Aloud Day is March 6th, 2013

World Read Aloud Day Activities

Download our Activity Packet for printable resources like certificates, bookmarks and a reading tally, and our Event Kit for suggested read aloud books and poetry and tips for ways to celebrate the big day.

Here's a sneak peak at some of our recommendations...

Are you a kid?
Host a sleepover and stay up late having a read-aloud-athon! You can all dress up as characters from your favorite books, or just get cozy in your pajamas.

Are you a teen?
Organize a book swap for all your classmates and friends. You can exchange books one for one, or sell them to one another for whatever price you choose and collect the money to donate to a local charity, or to LitWorld.

Are you an educator?
Arrange a special guest reader to visit your class, in-person or over video chat. Our WRADvocate Kate Messner can match you with a guest author at, or you can select your own local celebrity. How about bringing in a beloved crossing guard or the school nurse to share their literary side with your students?

Will you be celebrating at your office?
Make time during your work day to gather with colleagues and read something inspiring aloud together. Take just a few moments together to think about how fortunate we are to be able to read aloud with one another.

Will you be celebrating at home?
How about video chattting or calling a long-distance friend or family member on the phone and reading aloud with one another? Sharing stories lets us bridge continents and oceans to bring the whole world together.


Puzzle maker

Welcome to Puzzlemaker! Puzzlemaker is a puzzle generation tool for teachers, students and parents. Create and print customized word search, criss-cross, math puzzles, and more-using your own word lists.

‘Yarnabout’ Conversation and Reflection Cards

'Yarnabout' Conversation and Reflection Cards are Indigenous-specific cards that assist in identifying both cultural, spiritual and community icons and meanings.

The cards are a set of 75 photographic images designed to facilitate story-telling, conversation and reflection. They offer an opportunity to laugh, reflect, yarn, connect, story-tell and explore our Indigenous community in all its diversity.

Reading Like a Historian curriculum

The Reading Like a Historian curriculum engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features sets of primary documents designed for groups of students with diverse reading skills and abilities.

This curriculum teaches students how to investigate historical questions by employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading. Instead of memorizing historical facts, students evaluate the trustworthiness of multiple perspectives on historical issues. They learn to make historical claims backed by documentary evidence.

Let's Talk Science Outreach Program at the University of Calgary! Free kits and workshops

Welcome to the home of the Let's Talk Science Outreach Program at the University of Calgary!

Let's Talk Science is a national, charitable, outreach organization that engages post-secondary student volunteers at universities and colleges across Canada to turn kids on to science. Each site is unique and operates in a manner most suited to their communities needs. At the U of C we have many community and faculty partners who generously donate their resources to our site, and as such we are able to offer extremely high quality workshops for school students and the public in Calgary, surrounding communities and rural or aboriginal communities.

If you would like to know more about our programs, be sure to check out the Events and Workshops pages. To inquire about workshops, special events, public events or other activities, email us at

Our Workshops

Hands-on learning is the best way to engage students in science.   Students in hands-on science programs understand the material better, feel a sense of accomplishment when the experience is completed, and can transfer that experience to other learning situations with ease.  

General Information about our workshops

Many of our workshops seek to provide students with curriculum-relevant hands-on activities.  Many also seek to explain something relevant and in the news, or a in way that science topics are combined.  We suggest you start your booking at least one month prior to your anticipated date.

We can tailor a workshop to your needs.  Some of our workshops are in French.  We have a bank of science activities that can be built into a seminar day, workshop, or event in your school.  Some topics can be simplified for Grade 6-9, given as described for Grade 10-12, or more theory or components added for enhanced or advanced classes.  Unless otherwise stated, senior high workshops are usually 1.5 or 2 hours in length; junior high and elementary school workshops are usually 1 hour in length.  

NOTE: Bookings for wet workshops at the U of C are dependent on available laboratory time. The best times to book are during university exam periods, at the end of semesters, and during the winter semester break week.  We usually have Monday AM, Monday PM, Friday AM and Friday PM times with all other times only available with permission.  If the U of C labs are not available, ask us about a Let's Talk Science volunteer to deliver a workshop at your school.



Topic Areas

Many of these topics will flex for younger, older and mixed audiences! 

Curriculum links, Grade, Duration


Biology, Health Sciences, Medical Sciences

(JH &SH)

Note: Our chapter started with DNA WhoDunnit? and keeps adding Bio topics – almost one a year for the 11 years at UCalgary. 


  DNA WhoDunnit? 

It is your job to find out WhoDunnit?! You are working in a forensic lab and have isolated DNA   from a drop of blood left behind by the culprit at    the scene of a crime. Only seven people had access to the crime site at the time it occurred. All are suspects! DNA samples have been obtained from each of these possible villains. Your task is to carry out a "DNA fingerprint" test to try to determine which suspect matches the DNA sample recovered  at the crime scene.

"WhoDunnit?" workshops are available in 1.5 - 2 hour formats (±PCR or other module) for Bio30, AP, and IB programs and are available in UCalgary laboratories or in your classroom.

A Grade 6 Forensics and junior high version is available, usually in combination with DNA101.   This workshop can be offered in your classroom. Available as a kit for trained teachers.


  Other topics in this series:

DNA101 (Genomics); The Central Dogma, DNA mutations, Genomics, DNA Sequencing 

DNA Isolation

Candy DNA Models and DNA Paper Game

Gene Expression: DNA Arrays

The Listeria story

The World of Biotechnology (a combination of many of the above)

The many topics in the DNA series mean we can customize a workshop for your class by grade/age, ability or based on what they have covered. 

With above, this is an LTS National Kit developed here at UCalgary


  Gene Therapy: Moving genes to make proteins

Little green bugs?  In this workshop you will learn how biologists move a gene from one species into another by moving a gene using bacterial transformation.  The result is recombinant proteins and gene therapy. Discussion will show how these techniques are used to now produce recombinant protein drugs for human use such as insulin and growth hormone.

For Bio30, AP, and IB programs.   Workshop takes 1.5 hours.  This workshop can be offered in your classroom or combined with a laboratory session at UCalgary labs. 


Available as a kit for trained teachers. 


  Who Are You? (Who, who, who, who?)

Bioinformatics?  Achoo, mad cow and DNA/protein music.  Do you know WHERE to find the Human Genome? What is a sequence? What gene is it?  What protein does it encode? Are there genetic diseases associated with this gene? How do we figure it all out?  How do we figure out who are   you? You can surf for BioInformatics in your school as easily as at U of C.  All you need is the internet—we provide the assignment and the answers!

Appropriate for senior high Bio, Math, and CompSci students or other students interested in the application of computers to answer biological questions. This workshop is also available at a junior high level.  Duration 1.5 hours.


  Fish or Foul? 

Is the expensive fish you buy at the store is really what the merchant claims?  Students will prepare samples and run a polyacrylamide gel to analyze the proteins found in different fish.   Based on the protein pattern obtained, they will construct a phylogenetic tree. 

Ideal Bio20 evolution unit or for Bio 30 AP or IB students.  This workshop is ~2 hours in length, has an overnight component, and pre- and post- lab classwork are provided.


  The Cell

Animals have blood cells very similar to ours in appearance and function. Learn how to stain and identify blood cells from some different animal species. For more senior students, we include samples of cells in culture and explain how we use them for various scientific studies, including those involving gene therapy and stem cells.

"The Cell" works best with small groups of students if hosted at UofC, or we can bring microscopes to your classroom. Appropriate for junior high (1 hour or longer with larger groups) or senior high (1.5 to 2 hours) curriculums.


  I'm not eating that!

You see a product in the grocery store labelled low salt, low calorie – is it?  How bad is ketchup for  you?  Students will examine the pH, enzymes, protein,  salt, fat, sugar and starch in different foods.  These  tests can be performed in either a quantitative and qualitative manner. In order to perform the workshop in a quantitative manner, standard curves are generated using known amounts of material and then the amount in a particular food is determined. 

Grade 6 to 9 as qualitative types of assays.  Older grades can include quantitative components such as making a protein standard curve.


  Vein to Vein:  Blood Typing

Are you my type?  This workshop teaches students about the blood donation process, from the donor   to the recipient. Content includes learning what is required of donors and how blood processing works at Canadian Blood Services. Students will learn how to blood type (using artificial blood) to find a compatible donor or one of the patients will die.  

This workshop can offered on site at the U of C or in your classroom. Appropriate for Bio20. ~1.5 hours.



  Additional module in this series: ABO Genetics 

Following up on the ABO typing workshop, this section can be used as a great introduction to genetics for Bio20/30AP.  Lecture and computer work. 

With this genetics component, Vein to Vein becomes 2 hours with additional time for post-lab activity.  Great transition topic for Bio20/30.


  Inside an Outbreak: Epidemiology

Welcome to our banquet – enjoy your dinner.  But how many of you will get sick?  Learn the roles of public health personnel in epidemiology—the study  of disease in human populations. Then use your knowledge through role playing to solve several riddles about an outbreak of food-borne disease.  One of those roles will be a hospital microbiologist, another – a banquet attendee! Several other cases will be used to illustrate the importance of infection control in our everyday lives. 

This workshop can be offered in your classroom.  Science 24, Science 10, but can be enhanced or used with other grades or mixed grades.


  Other topics in this series

GermWars and ImmuneWars presentations by UofC faculty that are LTS volunteers.

Bacteriology (see below)

GermWars presentations from JH to SH and adult levels


  The Science of HIV/AIDS

In this interactive workshop we will explain and answer any questions on how we study HIV and  how it causes AIDS. We will also talk about the global issues and the work we have been doing in Africa on HIV/AIDS with our students at the University of Calgary. Hands-on lab work will introduce the cells that get infected and how blood is tested for HIV.

Appropriate senior high (1.5 to 2 hours) curriculums and overlaps The Cell by using blood films. 


  Got a special event?  Ask LTS to come and participate to do several different workshops over a full day.  We can do display/activity tables, help you plan a conference or other special event.  We can provide hands-on, minds-on activities for kids and adults alike. 


Chemistry (JH & SH)

We're always ready to add more chemistry topics!  Special requests mean new topics and workshop ideas. 


  Crime Lab

Armed with a list of suspects and clues collected from the scene of the crime, students become forensic scientists trying to solve a mystery. Techniques used include chromatography, fingerprinting and chemical analysis.

This activity is designed for use in Grade 5-9 classrooms or with children ages 10-15. Workshop takes 50 min to 1.5 hours depending on the amount of content used. 

LTS National Kit


  I'm not eating that!

Add a spectrophotometer and make one of the assays quantitative.  Using a spec, it is best to limit the number of tests done on food. The chemistry of the reactions can be discussed in more detail. 

We have a Spec20 and test tubes to loan.  Got another assay you want to run? 


  Chemical Bonds

A fun way to learn covalent and ionic bonds – use candy as electrons!  Once you master that, you   can test for some of the molecules you just learned to make by qualitative and quantitative assays like a titration for Vitamin C. 

Grade 10 Science.  50 min to 1 hour. 

 New in 2011


  History of the Periodic Table

An example of a workshop built by a volunteer following the recent special request by homeschoolers.

Grade 10/Science 10

 New in 2011


  Clean Enough to Drink?

Quality of our drinking water is one thing, but how healthy is your local pond or river?  Students will perform several tests (oxygen, pH, nitrates, phosphates, hardness, iron, and more) on water samples (snow melt, Bow River water, sea water, local drinking water).  Also, students will be able to examine insects commonly found in fresh water   that are indicators of the health of that water.  

Safe enough for younger kids and interesting enough for older ones too.  Fits Grade 9 environmental chemistry. 

Uses kits from environmental_education_ monitoring.html and water we or your students collect. 


Physics (JH & SH)

Some new topics in development include Air and Aerodynamics and any special request you have. 


  Design it, Build it

This workshop uses the hydraulics class kit from Pathfinders Design and Technology to allow students to build a hydraulic machine to carry out specfic tasks. 

Pre- and post- workshop learning materials available. Building time 1.5 hours or more. See www.pathfindersdesignand for more information about the materials used in this workshop.


  Optics and Photonics

Optics: light and lenses, mirrors, prisms. Photonics: the technical applications of light from ultraviolet, visible to infrared; lasers, fibre optics, transmission, amplification, and detection of light.  This topic combines LTS' optics supplies that include parts  from old microscopes and camera lenses, with the CIPI kit that includes laser transmission, diffraction, refraction, fibre optics, a hologram and more!

Grade 6 to 12.  See for information about the Canadian Institute for Photonics Innovations.  1 to 1.5 hours. 

Kit(s) available for loan. 


  Snap Circuits

Not a workshop currently.  This is an example of a special request you could make and our volunteers would develop it for you.

See for information about the kits. 


  Sky Science

Not currently a kit.  This is an example of a recent request.



Pre-School, Kindergarten, Elementary and Junior High Science


  Tree Murder

A tree dies in the forest.  You need to build a dichotomas key to figure out who died.  How old  was the victim?  How did they die?   Was it murder?  Who's a witness and who's a suspect?  Examine the crime scene environment and see if you are able to figure out what happened.

Grade 7

50 min – 1 hour

Kit available for loan


  Hand Washing

How important is hand washing! Learn how to wash your hands with Glo Germ.  Learn when to wash  your hands and colour a picture about it.  Learn about germs with a bunch of fuzzy, friendly,   petable Giant Microbes.


and for more information about the products we use in this workshop. 

K to 1


  Edible Bacteriology

Make your own bacterial cultures and decorate with (candy) germs.  Learn about some of the cast of microbial characters, like "The Flusies" and "Sam & Ella" that cause disease or live with us, protect us  or make great things for us to eat. 

Grades 1-8.  The depth of material increases with grade.  If possible to get donated materials, culture plates can be provided to classes that want to culture their environment.  


  Feast for the Senses

The search for food is on. Interactive, sensory activities help students understand how animals   use their senses to locate food, one of the keys to survival.

K to 3.  Grade 3,4 includes additional card game about which animals have the best hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste.  1 hour

LTS National Kit


  It's Electrifying

Do electrons come out of both ends of a battery?  Why won't the bulb light?  What's a parallel circuit?  Is wood a good conductor or an insulator?  What's an electromagnet?  How do you build a motor or generator? 

Grade 5, 1 hour LTS National Kit

Older grades can build a motor or generator. 

LTS National Kit

We can add SnapCuricuits too! 


  Ancient Machines

Experiment with simple machines: rollers, wheels   and axles, ramps, screws, gears, pulleys, wedges and levers. Discover how simple machines can change the amount, or direction of force required   to move a load. Problem solving through the use of simple machines and the design, construction, testing and evaluation of a compound machine.

Grade 4 and up

LTS National Kit


  Edible Geology: Snack Tectonics & Pangea Potato

Learn about the earth's plates.  Recreate many geological features created by plate boundaries.  Find the features on the planet with Google Earth.  When done, eat your experiment.  Can include  mining for ores and drilling for oil and crater formations – all edible or mostly. 

Earth Science units

Adapted from Windows on the Universe


  Bounce and Roll

Students learn how balls bounce and roll on  different surfaces and develop their understanding  of forces and motion.

Wings of Discovery kit

Pre-school to Grade 1

  Is there a topic you would like some help with?  We can access more kits through the Let's Talk Science National network of kits for loan.  We can get volunteers to create something just for you that may end up as one of our newest workshops. 

LTS National Lending Library

These kits, like some of those above, have been developed by educators at LTS National. 

Kits available are for K to 6


Dynamic Dinos

The Wonder of Weather

The Bone Zone

Playful Machines (the ones on the playground!)

Entreprenurial Science (invent something, then try to sell it!)

Matter Matters (states of matter)

Budding Biologists

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

McGraw-Hill Companies unveiled the SmartBook, an adaptive ebook that adjusts the reading experience to each student’s pace

As publishing giants and tech companies attempt to remake the humble textbook in their own image, McGraw-Hill Education on Tuesday offered up its latest take on the learning platform of the future.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the education-focused division of the McGraw-Hill Companies unveiled the SmartBook, an adaptive ebook that adjusts the reading experience to each student's pace and mastery level.

Content is still structured somewhat like a textbook but instead of asking students to read it thoroughly from start to finish, it coaches the student on how to read the material and quizzes them on various concepts as they move through each section. Depending on their responses, they're guided along to different highlighted passages. McGraw-Hill said it expects to release SmartBooks at prices starting at $19.99 for about 90 courses later this Spring.

The program, which is available on computers and tablets, builds on the 12 billion data points on student learning collected from LearnSmart, McGraw-Hill's adaptive learning platform, the company said. But where LearnSmart is more focused on reviewing material, SmartBook attempts to help students read more efficiently to better retain information.

"To revolutionize learning, you need to revolutionize reading," said Brian Kibby, president of McGraw-Hill Education. "We're focused on attacking graduation rates and getting results."

Saturday, 5 January 2013

I Love my librarian awards

Kowalski's nominations cited her "cunning ideas," including an "iStaff Mobile Innovation Studio," a mobile station at her library with an iPad, projector, and computers. Students versed in this technology assist their peers using the equipment for school projects at the Pine Grove Middle School in East Syracuse, where Kowalsky is school librarian.
Locke's innovations included creating digital book trailers with her students and creating a monthly digital school newsletter in collaboration with a technology teacher at Westport's Saugatuck Elementary School, where she's a library media specialist, according to her nomination.
Each honoree received a $5,000 cash award, a plaque, and a $500 travel stipend to attend the awards reception in New York City. Nominees must be librarians with a master's degree from an ALA-accredited MLIS program or a master's specializing in school library media from an educational unit accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Read aloud to children

Technology has found its way into school libraries all over the Central Coast, but Spreckels Elementary School librarian Libby Foucht still believes that one of the best ways of turning non-readers into readers is to read aloud to them.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

This is your invitation to come and visit the COW Bus at the Samson Daycare on Friday, January 18 from 2 to 5 pm

Calling all parents, grandparents and caregivers to bring their 1 to 6 year olds to the COW Bus at the Samson Daycare on Friday, January 18 from 2 to 5 pm.

Gender differences in career choices: Why girls don’t like science

Suggestions for parents

Encourage girls' interests in science

Parental encouragement is positively correlated to children's participation in

science activities.

19 Encouragement can take many forms. For instance:

• Parents can encourage their daughters' interest in science by asking about

the day's science class at school or in the childcare setting. By discussing

their children's science lessons, parents show their approval of the children's


• If a child shows interest in learning more about a particular subject, parents

can show encouragement by making plans to go to the library or to visit a

relevant website for more information.


Parents of high-school girls can encourage them to take science courses. If

the child is hesitant or lacks confidence in the subject, parents can offer to

provide a tutor.

• Parents can provide opportunities for daughters to meet women scientists

and hear about their career paths.

Engage in science-related activities

Co-activity (especially mother-child co-activity) is positively related to children's

participation in science activities.

20 Joint activities between parents and daughters

expose children to more opportunities to hear cognitively demanding language, in

turn fostering more developed scientific thinking. Here are a few suggestions:

• Parents can give their daughters early science experiences, such as visiting a

local science museum.

• Parents can take advantage of the attractiveness of television for young

viewers by watching a science-related program with their children.

• Parents can also take advantage of visitor tours offered by some

manufacturing and engineering plants to expose their children to the

applications of science in such settings.

Provide science-related games, toys and books

Children's participation in science activities is positively related to the provision of

science materials in the home.


• Parents can provide girls, as well as boys, with chemistry sets and


• Parents can capitalize on girls' interest in reading by encouraging them to

read science-related books. Studies show that although parents encourage

girls to read, they do not typically encourage the reading of science books.


• The internet provides hundreds of sites where kids and parents can learn

about various science subjects or play science-related games (see below for

a sampling of links).

Programs for girls in science

Sisters in Science Program

The Sisters in Science Program is an after-school intervention implemented and

tested in a Philadelphia school district (Hammrich, 1997).

23 The objective was to

give girls experiences in cooperative, exploratory, and hands-on science (and

mathematics) activities. In addition to active involvement with science, the girls

participated in self-reflection and discussions promoting female role models,

demystifying science, and career choices. Fourth-grade girls participated in 20

weekly 90-minute after-school activities, ranging from developing a community

environmental awareness campaign, conducting surveys of the school's and

neighbourhood's recycling programs, testing for levels of pollution in their school

and homes, identifying pollutants found in garbage, air, or water, and creating

an environmental newsletter for distribution to the school. The reflection and

discussion activities were designed to help the girls better understand their

personal learning, challenge stereotypical notions about science, and develop

better thinking skills. At the end of the intervention, pre- and post-tests showed

positive changes in the girls' interests, attitudes, and awareness of science and the

possibility of pursuing a science career.

Girls in Science

For three years, the San Diego Zoo has been running an after-school Girls in

Science mentoring program for girls between 12 and 14 years of age (McLaughlin,


24 For part of the program, the girls visit the zoo where they can see the

zoo's operations from behind the scenes, meet with female scientists who talk to

the girls about their careers and interests in science, and speak with various field

researchers, behaviourists, geneticists, veterinarians, and zookeepers. The girls

get to try out the scientists' equipment and learn its significance. Following each

scientist's presentation, the girls are asked to review the concepts they learned

as well as examine the scientists' careers and how they might fit into their future.

The program ends with an overnight camping trip to the desert or the mountains

where the girls meet more female scientists who introduce them to careers

outside of the zoo. On these occasions, the girls get to participate in hands-on

activities such as tracking endangered species and learn about environmental and

conservation issues.

Alberta Science Literacy Association

Although not geared specifically to girls, the Alberta Science Literacy

Association is a program that links scientists from industry, government, and

post-secondary institutions to students and communities across Alberta.

The scientists address scientific disciplines from aeronautical engineering to

zoology and use hands-on activities, show and tell, questions and answers, and

discussions to deliver their message.


Canadian Association for Girls in Science (CAGIS)

CAGIS is geared towards girls aged 7 to16 who meet regularly to explore science,

technology, engineering, and mathematics with women (and men) who have

chosen careers in these fields. The girls are given opportunities to talk about

school, careers, and other issues that concern them when they think about their

futures. Since 1995, CAGIS has a number of chapters across Canada, with new

chapters in development. Chapter events are held on weekends or after school

and last about 1 to 2 hours. They usually take place at the workplace of the

scientist and consist of a mini presentation introducing a science, technology,

engineering, or mathematics concept, followed by hands-on activities to

consolidate the learning and make science fun.


Fun in the palm of your hands. Simply visit or go to

ParticipACTION, in partnership with Active Healthy Kids Canada, has created a web-based app full of classic, active games. These games include running games as "What Time is it Mr. Wolf?, ball games such as "Spud" and team games such as "Capture the Flag". The app can be accessed from any device that has an internet connection and browser. With web browser access, no download is nec-essary. Simply visit or go to Games can be accessed easily by adding the app shortcut to your home screen on your device.