This summer, I had the extraordinary privilege of guiding a group of brilliant young writers and volunteers from the Writer’s Exchange program on a tour of Science World. The Writer’s Exchange is a not-for-profit literacy program that makes reading and writing fun and accessible for inner-city kids. Inspired by the successful 826 Valencia program in San Francisco, Founders Sarah Maitland and Jennifer Macleod teamed up with the KidSafe Project Society and then with Tides Canada to provide kids with a beautiful, safe space where they could get homework help and work on creative writing projects.
As a part of their main writing project, the kids are each publishing a book of their stories, articles and poems. They chose Science World as the location of their Vancouver attractions writing assignment.
I love to read and I love to write, so I was excited to show the young writers some of my favourite spots. However, I only had them for a few hours so I had to narrow it down by asking the question: What should a writer see at Science World?
For the nature and wildlife lovers we took a tour of the Ken Spencer Science Park—meeting chickens and exploring gardens, and saw the dinosaur bones and spiders in Search: Sara Stern Gallery. One of our writers saw a chicken, Gourd, flopping in the dirt. We thought, perhaps, that Gourd was laying an egg, but when we asked a friendly science facilitator about it, we found out that she was taking a dirt bath.
For the inquiring mind, we visited some places that most groups don’t get to see! We climbed up behind the OMNIMAX screen in the big silver dome. From there we were able to see how the giant sound system works. Then we wandered through the awesome Science World workshop, where Clyde showed us his latest projects.
After lunch, we took a look at fun photos of Science World through the years and spent some quiet time on the Green Roof soaking up the sun and writing down our reflections.
It was a busy day for the writers and volunteers. A lot of fun and learning happened and I am anticipating some awesome stories and reflections will come of our tour. I’m excited to read all about it in their chapbook publication!