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Science program getting kids hands-on with learning
Published Tuesday, December 6, 2011 5:59PM CST
Science is being celebrated all week at the University of Saskatchewan, with an Aboriginal outreach program taking the spotlight Tuesday afternoon.
The Kamskenow Program is designed to get Aboriginal youth excited about science. And according to students, like 10-year-old Ethan Pelletier, it's working, "It's awesome, you get to learn about dinosaurs and science and stuff."
In the classroom, Ethan never thought science was interesting. But in the Kamskenow Program, it's his favourite subject. Ethan's class participated in a scavenger hunt in the Natural Sciences Museum Tuesday afternoon.
Ethan learned about plants and growth cycles, including "…how stuff grows, how they're formed and how old they are. Some of the stuff in the museum is over 2000 or two million years old."
Ethan's classmate, Brittany Fisher, also likes the hands-on approach. "You get to do experiments and we don't do experiments at school."
The U of S Science Outreach Program started in 2009 with only 30 students, but by January they will reach nearly 400 students in grades 4 through 10. PotashCorp is the program's title sponsor. The program is offered in schools where the student population is at least 40 per cent Aboriginal.
Many, like Peta Bonhan-Smith, the vice dean of science, believe the future of Saskatchewan will depend largely on scientific expertise. And part of that is better scientific education for the province's growing Aboriginal population. "We have to be able to put science in front of the Aboriginal children so they can embrace it in their future careers."