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Who are Science Discovery Squad Volunteers?

Science Discovery Squad volunteers are people who have an interest in science and want to share that with elementary students.  A background in engineering, agriculture, environmental studies, healthcare, technology, or any other science-rich field is an asset, but not essential. 

What exactly do Science Discovery Squad Volunteers do?

Currently, there are four divisions of the Science Discovery Squad, each focusing on a different area of science.   

The Science Division:  Volunteers have created hands-on, interactive demonstrations about various topics corresponding to the Ontario Curriculum.  Length and configuration of the activities depends on the subject and are offered throughout the school year based on volunteer availability.

The Agricultural Division:  Who better to talk about where our food comes from than the people that produce it?  The SEP coordinates an annual celebration of Canada Agriculture Day in February of each year, arranging for farmers to visit local classrooms.

The Bridge Building Division:  The SEP celebrates National Engineering Month each year by running a bridge building activity for Grade 5 classrooms.  Students build bridges using wood craft sticks and hot glue to a given set of specifications.  The strongest bridge from each class is forwarded to a final competition held in the spring each year.

The Coding Division:  Volunteers have developed an introductory computer programming experience for Gr. 4-6 students.  They learn to code both with, and without, a computer.

Volunteering:  What are the requirements?

  • Individuals choose how much time they volunteer during the school year. There is no minimum or maximum.

  • Volunteers with an interest in all areas of science and applied science can be involved.  It is not necessary to have a "Ph.D." or a "P.Eng." behind your name to volunteer.  The primary requirement is the desire to help students learn about science. 

  • Volunteers set their own travel limits within the district.

  • All SEP activities are for elementary aged students. (Gr. K-8)

  • Volunteers can focus on the areas of the curriculum that match their own interests.

  • We are looking for both "lead" volunteers who are willing to present, and "assistant" volunteers who will lend a helping hand as students work through the activities

  • Because our volunteers work with elementary aged students, they are required to complete a Police Vulnerable Sector Check, and it must be renewed according to School Board policy.

What teachers have to say about our volunteers...

"This was a great experience for my students.  We did not have the equipment to test the concepts they had learned, and this program helped them practice what they'd been taught.  Very hands-on!"  Gr. 6 Teacher

"This demonstration led us right into what we are going to do from our textbook activities.  The students were very engaged throughout.  The props and interactive nature really made the program!"  Gr. 7/8 Teacher

"The two classes that participated enjoyed and appreciated the visit.  The hands-on activity of planting different cash crop seeds was great and will add to our science unit about plant and soils."  Gr. 3 Teacher

I think I may wish to volunteer… what next?

If you think you'd like to become an Adopt-a-Scientist Volunteer, please contact Wendy Hooghiem at the SEP Science Resource Centre.

(p) 519-336-1500 ext. 31580 (e) sciencecentre@lkdsb.net

We will arrange for prospective volunteers to accompany one of our veteran volunteers to observe an in-class session so to see the program in action first-hand.