POWE 2013 – Powerful for Female Enriched Science Students

2012_2013_POWE_McGillScienceEngDay_15Feb2013These days, girls are becoming increasingly interested in science, but oftentimes, they let go of this interest come university, in favour of studying topics that are stereotypically more “suitable” for women. The girls in the grade 10 enriched science class want this to change, and were therefore excited to attend the POWE conference at McGill on February 15. POWE—standing for “Promoting Opportunities for Women in Engineering—is exactly what young girls need to inspire them to pursue their interests in science and engineering come university.

Starting with a keynote speaker, we learned that engineering, while definitely a challenging job, is very rewarding. Professors and students told us about the different engineering options, many of which we had never heard about in high school. It was an enlightening morning, considering that one normally associates engineering with only the scientific facts, but we learned that it actually applies to all aspects of life, including government work and even banking, making it a very versatile and beneficial option from which to choose. The day continued with multiple lab tours, where we saw firsthand the diversity that comes with engineering. From air tunnels, to race cars, to machines measuring the pressure rocks can hold, it was very cool to learn about all sorts of high-tech equipment.

The day ended with a student panel, where girls shared their experiences as students in the various McGill engineering programs. And finally, we partook in a friendly competition among students which consisted of who could build the best catapult out of materials that were given to us. Knowing that we could only use paper, popsicle sticks, and a few other arbitrary materials, we learned firsthand about the creativity and innovation required in engineering. It was really impressive to see the designs everyone came up with!

Thanks so much to Ms. Wall for giving us this incredible opportunity. It’s definitely one we won’t forget, and it truly opened our eyes to a potential future career. —Stephanie Hwang ’14, Samantha Mashaal’14, Avital Romoff ’14, Sonia Toy ’14, and Josephine White ’14

Biology: Rat Dissection

On Wednesday, February 29, we dissected a rat in Mr. Shefler’s Grade 10 biology class. At first, we were nervous and didn’t know what to expect. But, once we got going, we realized it was actually pretty cool. It was interesting to see such a complex digestive system in such a small body. Seeing the organs in person, instead of just inside a textbook enhanced our understanding of the bodily systems. We feel very privileged to go to a school that offers such dissections.
–Jacklyn Greenspoon ’13 and Lizzie McInnes ’13

Schools on Board: Leaving the Amundsen—by Helicopter!

October 4, 2011

This morning involved some final packing and clean up, followed by boarding the helicopter to go back to Kugluktuk. No one wanted to get off the ship, but getting another helicopter ride was still fun. Once everyone had been flown over, we started walking from the airport into the community of Kugluktuk. We joined the grade 12 science class and the students took us on a scavenger hunt designed to have us see most of town. Being in Kugluktuk was different because everyone knows each other, and all the people were greeting us and asking who we were.

When we got back to the school, we set up gym mats and sleeping bags on the floor of the school computer lab, our bedroom for the next two nights. Afterwards, we thought about our meals and went grocery shopping. There are only two stores in town: Northern and Co-op. Everything is really expensive and the selection is limited. For example, 12 cans of pop cost $20 and a bag of chips is $6. Fruits and vegetables had to be thoroughly inspected before being purchased. Nonetheless, the pasta we cooked for supper was delicious. —Karen Butt ’12


DSCN1265Our dissection with the 10th graders was very fun! Now you might think, “EWWWWWW! I’m never ever going to touch that even with gloves!” But, once you pick up your tweezers and get into it, it’s really fun and you don’t want to stop.

I got to find all sorts of bones, like ribs and skulls. I even found a feather but didn’t even find a bird! It was also cool because you got to see what animal the owl had eaten. I had a rodent and a shrew in my pellet. When all that was done I got to bring it home and gross out my parents—Ryan Hawa ’16

CRC Robotics Student-Centred

CRCRoboticsThe CRC robotics competition is unique in my experience as an immensely positive experience for all students who choose to participate. It is one of the few events that I have ever been a part of where the students are really at the centre of the experience. My only contribution as a faculty advisor is to try and keep the administrative details under control and let them do all the work (and make all the mistakes).

The atmosphere at the competition is incredibly energetic and positive. There is none of the isolation that one tends to get at sporting tournaments. In fact, there is a reward given to the team that has the most “spirit,” which in this context means the school that helps the most other teams, and generally raises the level for all participants. Good sportsmanship is encouraged at every turn and the organizers are really only interested in making sure that everyone can participate.

This year’s CRC Robotics Competition for high school and college students takes place at St. Maxime High School (Laval) from February 18 – 20.

—Chris Olive, CRC Robotics Faculty Advisor