Scientists and Innovators in the Schools (SIS) is a volunteer-based program that helps address British Columbia's need for more scientists, engineers, technologists and technicians to promote students' interest in these areas. Our goal is to inspire students with exciting, in-school presentations by real scientists. The program is offered to Grades K–12 everywhere in BC.
Dr Umesh Parshotam has traveled all over the world in his career as a scientist. He began with a Bachelor of Science, from the University of Texas at Arlington in the USA and then continued learning chemistry, so he moved to London, Ontario, where he obtained a PhD from Western University. From there, he went even further afield to work as an instructor at the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe!
These days, Umesh can be found in Prince George, BC, either teaching adults as a Senior Laboratory Instructor at the University of Northern British Columbia, or teaching elementary school kids through Science World’s SIS program. Like many scientists Umesh values his career in science because he is constantly learning new things and having unique experiences. As his career evolves, Umesh is increasingly focused on teaching, especially to students who don’t see themselves as scientists. Umesh explains that, "science is happening all around us!" and he finds it hugely rewarding to bring science to life with fun and visual demonstrations, like making frozen yogurt or exploring the concept of solids, liquids and gases. Educational and delicious!
Chemistry demonstrations impress every time.
Now it's your turn, try the Oobleck activity at your next dinner party:
While playing with oobleck students should identify that normally solids have a definite shape whereas a fluid can change shapes because it flows. Oobleck doesn't quite follow the rules. This suspension only behaves as a fluid some of the time. If you apply a force to it by smacking or squeezing it this fluid will become a solid. Check out this awesome oobleck demo on the Ellen show.
To request a scientist or innovator for your school, or to volunteer to become one yourself, check out the Scientists and Innovators in Schools program page.