It’s time for Super Science Club! Every Thursday afternoon for 9 weeks, I remove my Science World, science facilitator hat and put on the Super Science Club presenter hat, to deliver a fun science program to an inner-city class in Vancouver.
My morning consists of a shift as a science facilitator here under the dome. After lunch, I head into the Bits and Bytes Lab, the room in which we keep all the Super Science Club program crates and get ready for the afternoon’s session. This includes checking over permanent inventory, creating the props and ingredients we need for the day’s program, planning the flow of the session and checking in with the host, helpers and Super Science Club coordinator. Sometimes the preparation is short and sweet. Other times, it’s a longer process involving shredded paper, water, blenders and even buttermilk. After checking over the supplies, we put everything goes into the program bin and then loaded into the van. By approximately 2:30pm, we are ready to head off to the school!
Once we arrive at the school, our host greets the students and engages them outside the classroom, while the presenter prepares for the session. Often, we have a few helpers or volunteers to assist with either of these tasks. The host then brings the class inside, hands them their nametags and we begin the program! The program lasts for about 75 minutes and covers subjects like local plants, birds, rainforests and recycling. The program includes a make-and-take activity as well as a game for the kids to play. Some of the programs include demonstrations and interactive experiments to make the sessions even more exciting!
At the end of the session, prizes are handed out for answering last week’s trivia question correctly in the Super Science Club booklet and for following the expectations of the program. The classroom is then tidied and cleaned. This can take a long time, depending on the make-and-take activity. All the remaining materials are cleaned, gathered and placed in the program bin. Then it’s time for the trek home. The last steps are to stow away the program bins in the Bits and Bytes Lab and reflect on the day’s session, so that we can share our experience with the rest of the Super Science Club team.
All of these events take place between 1:30pm and 5pm! In the course of an action-packed afternoon, we manage to bring the excitement of Science World to dozens of inner-city school kids, all over Vancouver. It’s a demanding, yet incredibly rewarding experience.