The Science Discovery Squad is the new name for a volunteer program that has been immensely popular in area schools. Four existing volunteer initiatives are becoming one, providing students in the Lambton Kent District School Board and St. Clair Catholic District School Board with a more enhanced learning experience. Consultation with both teachers and volunteers led to the new program moniker.
Formerly known as "Adopt-a-Scientist", the program began in 1995 when Imperial Oil retirees with a science background were asked if they would like to help students learning science in the classroom. Volunteers developed interactive, curriculum-linked, hands-on presentations that could travel to different classrooms – and the students and teachers were "wowed."
A Grade 7/8 teacher from St. Philip Catholic School in Petrolia recently commented, "The students really enjoyed the whole day and were excited to create a structure that they could use…They learned about jigs, hydraulics, pneumatics, precise measurements, (and) tripods… They also learned about the value of volunteering and sharing one's expertise."
"After 24 successful years, it was time to restructure into one cohesive program and choose a name more inclusive of new opportunities that have evolved throughout the years," says Science Partnership Technician, Wendy Hooghiem, who has coordinated the program since its inception. The Science Discovery Squad volunteers will share their expertise in the classroom in four new divisions: Science, Bridge Building, Agriculture, and Computer Coding.
"The Science Education Partnership provides a unique, hands-on learning experience for our students, with the guidance of experts in the fields of science and engineering," says Deb Crawford, Director of Education for the St. Clair Catholic District School Board. "We are grateful for the support of these dedicated volunteers!"
"The Science Education Partnership provides students with a unique opportunity to explore science education programs in a hands-on environment, led by experts in the field," said Jim Costello, Director of Education for the Lambton Kent District School Board. "We appreciate the dedication of the volunteers who make the program possible and we look forward to continuing to provide meaningful learning opportunities to support student success."
On Thursday, February 21, 2019 members of the media are invited to attend a news conference and demonstration at Errol Road Public School gym starting at 10 a.m. Meet many of our dedicated volunteers and observe interactive exhibits that showcase activities students currently enjoy.
"Every year we see the demand for volunteers in the classroom rise, and we are actively seeking new volunteers for all divisions," adds Hooghiem.
For further information, please contact: Wendy Hooghiem
519-336-1500, ext. 31580