Young Minds Exploring Science

Team members: Isabel Nelson (SFU Physical Geography), Monika Jandu (UBC), Nima Tehrani (SFU Molecular Biology and Biochemistry), Gurbir Suri (UBC), Rabina Jandu (SFU Health Sciences)

Young Minds Exploring Science (YMES) was created in Spring 2020 by Isabel Nelson and Monika Jandu, two university students who grew up in North Delta. Our goal when creating YMES was, and still is, to eliminate barriers that youth face when accessing extracurricular STEM programs. Our idea is to offer workshops throughout the year to Grade 6 and 7 newcomer youth, specifically those residing in the Surrey community. Each workshop will be 1.5 hours long and will cover a unique topic within science, including: Scientific Method, Geology, Weather & Climate, Microbiology, Brains & Neurons, Genes & DNA, Chemistry and Physics. These workshops were designed in alignment with the BC Science Curriculum.

Given the rapidly growing population in Surrey, we hope to address the barriers that newcomer families and youth may face, whether that be financial, transportation or anything in between, by offering our workshops. Recognizing that many enriching programs can be costly, YMES is committed to offering free workshops for youth to engage in. On top of this, our workshops will be accessible, enabling students to engage virtually, from the comfort of their own home. All of the workshop seats for each topic will be reserved exclusively for newcomer youth. Through participating in our program, we hope to positively impact the experience of newcomer youth by providing them with a safe space to learn and cultivate valuable connections with others, be it with youth or program facilitators. Students will be able to challenge their curious minds, meet new individuals and build on other critical skills that they may wish to focus on, such as verbal or written English. Ultimately, we strive to equip students with the tools and confidence to continue engaging in education and cultivating meaningful connections with others within their schools and community.