In this guest post, Super Science Club facilitator alumni Lindsay Belvedere reflects on her time doing Science World outreach programming and the positive impact it has had on the students and on her.
When I first became a member of the Super Science Club staff in the fall of 2012, I was nervous, but excited. I had just finished working with summer camps at Science World. Even though I had the opportunity to lead a few programs there, I still felt like my teaching and classroom management skills could be substantially better. Being able to teach Vancouver’s young people about science in a fun, interactive setting has helped me grow as an individual in ways I did not expect; it has also helped the children in my classes to view science in a new light and has led to the formation of some wonderful memories and friendships.
The first Super Science Club program that I had the opportunity to lead was Plants We Eat at Sir Guy Carleton Elementary. Other than going a little bit over on time, my fellow science facilitators and I successfully delivered the first program of the year with no major challenges. This session marked the beginning of three successful semesters of Super Science Club programming. I now feel confident in my ability to teach and manage large groups of children—skills which have already proved useful in other aspects of my life and I'm sure, will continue to be valuable for many years to come.
In addition to my own personal growth, the opportunity I had to instill a love of science in Vancouver’s young people is one that I will never forget. Each week, the kids in my classes came eager to learn and have fun. A few of the highlights include:
- Making ice cream as part of the Cold program. Of all the programs that I had the opportunity to run, I think this one was the all-time favorite of the kids, in all classes I taught.
- Being Fake Sherry at John Henderson Elementary. There were a few weeks where I was a substitute host for Sherry and instead of calling me by name, the kids called me Fake Sherry, which ended up being my nickname for the entire semester!
- The boy who told me that the grey feathers we were looking at as part of the Birds program were from old seagulls.
- Helping Sam and the Thunderbird team present Super Science Club for the first time ever at Thunderbird Community Centre. We faced a number of challenges with this class, including a classroom that was too small and children that were disruptive. In the end, the children had fun and learned something new and their parents were appreciative of the time we spent delivering the program.
- Making the OMNIMAX movie speech for Family Science Night. My favorite part of the entire evening was announcing the name of each school and having the kids from that school cheer as loud as they could when I said their school’s name.
- Handing out Science World memberships at the end of each semester. I think it’s fantastic that in addition to coming to Science World with their class for a fieldtrip and to Family Science Night, all free of charge, the kids who participate in Super Science Club receive a free, one-year family membership to Science World. This means that they can continue to explore their love of science beyond what we teach in a Super Science Club classroom.
This program is amazing. I have loved every minute I've spent exploring science with excited, curious children. The opportunity that I've had to teach the kids of Vancouver is one that I will not forget. As I leave Science World and Super Science Club, to move on to new adventures, I know that my experience teaching children as part of this program will continue to bless my life for many years to come.