UBC Let's Talk Science strives to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics literacy through the outreach efforts of members of the research community at the University of British Columbia. Our volunteers work with youth from elementary and secondary schools to ignite science excitement and share their knowledge with eager young minds.
Spotlight on: Catherine Dick, former SMaRT pod leader
Today, Catherine Dick is teaching middle school science in the Czech Republic. Before that, Catherine spent a year volunteering as a SMaRT pod leader while working on her master’s degree in Mathematics education, here at UBC. She wrote to us about her experiences working with Let’s Talk Science.
Why did you decide to join Let’s Talk Science?
Catherine: I wanted a chance to see what Vancouver schools were like and I always like to be involved with anything that makes science interesting and real for students.
What projects have you helped with?
Catherine: I worked with SMaRT as a pod leader and revised the SMaRT manual and SMaRT student workbook.
What did you like most about volunteering with Let’s Talk Science?
Catherine: I loved watching the students get excited about science, especially when they started to ask their own questions and try to figure out their own answers. I also enjoyed working with the other pod members and seeing them develop confidence through teaching science.
Do you have a favourite memory or story from volunteering with Let's Talk Science?
Catherine: One of the activities we did with the students involved them swabbing various areas of the classroom with q-tips and then growing the samples in petri dishes. On the second day, as we were getting out the samples (before class started), many of the students came over to see what we were doing and became very excited as they saw all the different types of mold and bacteria that were growing in the dishes. The students had many questions about why the colonies were different colours, sizes, textures, and shapes and we had a very informal discussion about what they were observing. It was great to see them so interested and inquisitive.