7th Aboriginal Students in Math and Science Workshop

February 13, 2018
Simon Fraser University

The main goal of the workshop was to give an opportunity to Aboriginal high school students to have a first class science and mathematics experience through various activities presented by distinguished SFU professors.

The workshop was co-organized by the Math Catcher Outreach Program, the Virtual Reality Videos of the Great Bear Rainforest & Sea: Promoting Science Literacy in Under-Represented Youth Program, and the Faculty of Science.

Eighty-five Aboriginal high school students from nine communities attended the workshop.


9:00 - 10:00 Registration
10:00 - 10:05 Welcome by Clay Little 
10:05- 10:45 "Introduction to Take a Stand: Youth for Conservation and the vast natural treasures of the Great Bear Rainforest and Sea" with Norm Hann, Hann Expeditions, and Allison Kermode, Department of Biological Sciences
10:45 - 10:55 Break
10:55 - 11:40 "Solve This!" with Veselin Jungic, Department of Mathematics
11:40 - 12:20 Lunch
12:20 - 1:10 "Using drones, lasers and virtual reality for geographic science in coastal environments" with Nick Hedley, Department of Geography
1:10 - 1:20 Break
1:20 - 2:05 "Developing Ecological Literacy:  Environmental Learning at Home and Away" with David Zandvliet, Faculty of Education
2:05 - 2:15 Break
2:15 - 3:05 Screening of STAND film – Introduction and Q and A hosted by Norm Hann
3:05 - 4:00 SFU Campus Tour


  • "We would like to thank-you and your colleagues at SFU for providing such a rich learning experience for our students yesterday. We discussed some take aways on our ride home and they all left with something to think about."
  • "This was a great opportunity for the students from Bella Bella. We appreciate that we were   able to make the trip. The students were inspired. That is the best word I can use to describe their conversation while on the bus ride back to the hotel. They discussed the challenge and have a few ideas of environmental issues in our area that they think they could tackle. They have started a plan on making a video and have asked me to start a once a week club to help them get going on the project. I was impressed with their attention, behavior, questions, and       comments during all of the presentations throughout the day. Two of the students didn’t think they would be able to attend university. The bridging program that was mentioned briefly helped their confidence in this area.Again, thank you for including Bella Bella students." 
  • "Thank you once again for coordinating the Math and Science Workshop at SFU. As usual the calibre of speakers were amazing. My students thoroughly enjoyed their day at SFU and were talking nonstop about all of the guest speakers all the way back to Langley. They were telling me they liked the diversity of the speakers and their topics. Each one of them had their personal interests peaked by the various topics and I believe the whole experience was beneficial for them to open their world to new ideas such as, what SFU has to offer them in the future. Both of my students have SFU student teachers in their class rooms right now. That is a further connection for them to come back to school and talk to their student teachers about. One thing they did mention was they would have liked a brain break and maybe a small tour mid day. Other than that a fantastic opportunity for them."
  • "The event was very successful in our opinion. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the presentations. It was very eye opening to most of our students, especially the video presentation to wrap up the event. The students were hoping to do more hands on activities at this event so they were somewhat disappointed that this did not happen. I asked if they would return next year to experience it again and they strongly said that they would. Thank you once again Veselin for your hard work and dedication in putting on this event. We are always very appreciative of your dedication to helping our youths achieve greatness."
  • "Outreach alternative program attended 7th Aboriginal Students in Math and Science Workshop on February 13th. Outreach is part of Britannia Secondary and provides a safe, welcoming, and successful learning environment to Indigenous students who face barriers and/or systemic obstacles in regular classes. Students had a great time visiting the campus and getting a glimpse at university life. They particularly enjoyed the math games and challenges as they were able to participate as well as learn though play. The Take a Stand documentary, discussion, and competition made a high impression as it was relative and inspiring for them. Students were fascinated with the talk on drones, but many remarked that some of the material and terminology was too complex and advanced for them to keep focused. Similarly, many felt they spent too long in their seats without the opportunity to engage or do any hands-on work. As an educator, one of the highlights for me was the talk on "Developing Ecological Literacy:  Environmental Learning at Home and Away" given by David Zandvliet. I would love to have David come to Outreach and share some of his wisdom with our program. All in all, we had a great eye-opening day and we would definitely attend again next year."