From May 4th to May 19th, 2019, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) invites Canadians from all over the country to take part in Canada’s biggest festival of science and technology aimed at explorers of all ages. Dr. Estelle Chamoux of the Department of Biology happily took part in this initiative and introduced some of the wonders of science to local youth in a number of science outreach activities held at Bishop’s University and at Alexander Galt Regional High School.
On May 8th and 15th, third- and fourth-graders from the École primaire Saint-Antoine trekked out to the Bishop’s campus for an activity entitled Microscopes en folie (“Microscopes Gone Wild”), where they got to explore one of the university’s biology laboratories, look through microscopes to discover spectacular tissues such as carrot root, pollen, human skin, brain, insect wings and chicken embryos. With great enthusiasm, they also learned about human anatomy by carefully examining Oscar, the department’s anatomical dummy.
Teens studying science with their teacher Mr. Mark Learned at Alexander Galt Regional High School also had the opportunity to experience a novel, hands-on approach to human genetics in an activity entitled “Inspector Genetico,” where they recreated a familial pedigree to better understand how scientists work to find the genes that may be responsible for the transmission of a genetic disease. This is a complex topic that was made compelling and accessible thanks to Dr. Chamoux’s novel approach to active teaching and learning. She was assisted by a student and a graduate of Bishop’s University’s Department of Biology, Katina Landry and Sonya Anvar ‘19, who were eager to share their love of science with youth. And who knows? Dr. Chamoux, Katrina and Sonya may just have inspired a few of these students to consider studies in cellular biology or in genetics!