SFU awards Excellence in Science Engagement and Public Outreach to local Let's Talk Science team.
Nominator, Biological Sciences professor Peter Hollman, (far left) Alexandra Kasper, (left), Ashani Montgomery, (centre) and Drake Comber (right) at the awards ceremony.
The Faculty of Science is pleased to award the annual Excellence in Science Public Engagement and Outreach Award to SFU’s Let’s Talk Science (LTS) team. Team members, Alexandra Kasper, Drake Comber and Ashani Montgomery are all SFU graduate students who bring passion and experience in sharing science engagement.
Kasper, Comber and Montgomery coordinate over a hundred student volunteers who travel to schools in Metro Vancouver and parts of British Columbia to deliver engaging science workshops.
The team also partners with public events like Science Literacy Week, Science World’s Around the Dome Festival, Science Rendezvous, Science Odyssey and Science Spooktacular by offering free, hands-on activities, science demos and shows to kids and families.
The group also supports workshops with the Faculty of Science that bring high-school and elementary students to campus to explore science careers and experiments in chemistry, math, statistics, biology, physics, earth sciences, molecular biology and more.
The team credits these accomplishments to the many LTS volunteers at SFU. “We would like to acknowledge all the past SFU LTS coordinators that have led to the growth of the program since 1995, and the volunteers who have dedicated their time to sharing Let's Talk Science activities in schools, with community groups, and at festivals throughout the year.”
Let’s Talk Science is a national charitable organization that supports learning and skill development in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The team plans to spend the $1,000 award money on expanding the program to SFU’s Surrey campus and on volunteer recognition and professional development.
When asked what she likes most about her job, Kasper says, “I believe that a strong society needs citizens that think like scientists. I love Let's Talk Science outreach because our focus is encouraging kids (and adults!) to think scientifically by using logic, creativity, and systematic exploration to find solutions to complex problems.”
Congratulations go to all three youth leaders for their dedication and oversight of the program. However, it seems possible that the real winners may turn out to be the students who are lucky enough to take part in these workshops.