Faces of Science Outreach

Meet some of the volunteers that lead our workshops and programs. 

Sarah Johnson

What outreach or public engagement do you do?

I run the Girls Exploring Physics program, which offers workshops for girls in grades 9 and 10 twice a year. I have performed in the Science Spooktacular Phantom Physics and Cryptic Chemistry show every year since 2009. I also participate in numerous other outreach activities put on by the Dept of Physics and the Faculty of Science including Science in Action, Discover Physics @SFU and the TRIUMF Saturday Morning Lectures.

What got you into it?

I’m not sure exactly. My first real outreach activity was as a volunteer at the Rochester Museum and Science Center when I was in graduate school. I really enjoyed explaining things to the public. Also, I’ve been involved in theatre since I was a small child so performing comes naturally to me. My Mom is an actress so I think I get it from her. 

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Robbie Donald

What outreach or public engagement do you do?

I teach people about Earth Sciences (rocks, minerals, fossils, Earth processes, geology).  I've done this on field trips, at university events, in public schools, at conferences and in my university lab.

What got you into it?

When I started my job at SFU in 1995 I realized that I could help public school teachers by allowing their classes to come into the labs for free workshops.  Most teachers lacked the knowledge or resources to teach an Earth science component, but together I knew we could produce a wonderful learning experience for their students.

 

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Andrew Blaber  "The Science Neighbour"

What outreach or public engagement do you do?

I do talks and demonstrations to elementary, middle and high school students. I also open up my lab for student tours. I am available for TV and radio interviews and have appeared on CTV, CBC and Global as well as the Discovery Channel. I also have an outreach page on wordpress: thescienceneighbour.wordpress.com. My SFU website is www.sfu.ca/aerospacelab

What got you into it?

I enjoy public speaking and in high school I acted in plays that toured public schools and festivals. I also competed in science fairs and found it very rewarding. I see the same enthusiasm for discovery in many of the students I speak to today.

 

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Peter Hollman

What outreach or public engagement do you do?

Over the years I have done many activities from DNA extractions to dissections with students ranging from primary to high school.  I have participated in many of our institutional events such as our open house.  I have also provided lab tours and contributed to professional development activities of school teachers.  

Why are you passionate about reaching out to young people or the public? 

It is a lot of fun.  A curious and educated public will hopefully also value and support science.  An informed public will also be able to make more informed decisions about a wide range of issues as well as support science to solve problems ranging from diseases to climate change.   

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Veso Jungic

What outreach or public engagement do you do?

School visits, workshops, demonstrations, organizing events, publishing, animated film creation and production.

Why are you passionate about reaching out to young people or the public?

I wish to help young people to experience “hands-on” and “no-fear” mathematics.

What got you into it?

Realization that there are so many young people that despise mathematics

 

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John Clague

What outreach or public engagement do you do?

Public lectures on natural hazards and other geologic topics, field trips organized by Vancouver Natural History Society and Hope Centre for Outdoor Learning and television, radio, and newspaper interviews.

What got you into it?

I have a knack for conveying seemingly complex scientific information in understandable ways to diverse audiences. And I love sharing my knowledge with receptive audiences.

 

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Cristina Cordoba

What outreach or public engagement do you do?

I carry out the "Lasers in Action" workshop for students in grades 5 - 9 at the Trottier studio. I also do various physics demonstrations at other SFU outreach events.

Why are you passionate about reaching out to young people or the public?

I think that when you are young you are like a sponge. If we do a really good job communicating science, we can get kids of all ages interested in nature and science. 

 

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Diana Bedoya

What outreach or public engagement do you do?

Anatomy workshops.

Why are you passionate about reaching out to young people or the public?

Because the human body is simply amazing, and if people of any age understand it better, they are more likely to take care of it.

You are a scientist. Did you ever want to be something else?

I wanted to be a doctor when I was younger.

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