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Astronaut David Saint-Jacques is set to fly to the International Space Station for his first mission on December 20th, 2018. During this time, he will conduct several scientific experiments, robotic tasks and test new technologies.
He recently visited two CASC members: The Ontario Science Centre (OSC) and the Montreal Science Centre. In Toronto, he took part in OCS’s Conversation with an Astronaut talk, speaking about his childhood dreams and how he’s prepared himself for the 6-month mission into space. In Montreal, Saint-Jacques helped open the science centre’s new moon rock exhibit, where visitors are able to touch a 3.8-billion-year old lunar sample that was collected during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
David Saint-Jacques captivated audiences at both science centres, inspiring youths and other visitors to think about the future of STEM research in space.
July 5, 2018 marked the first ever international LGBTQ+ STEM Day held by Pride in STEM. More than 30 events were organized across the globe in support of people within the LGBTQ+ science, technology, engineering and mathematics communities. There was also a significant online presence with #LGBTQSTEMDay showing up throughout various social media platforms; Twitter alone had over 16,000 tweets with the hashtag.
The Canadian Association of Science Centres was proud to be one of many supporters of the celebration and were elated to see that our members also participated in the day. The Ontario Science Centre, Saskatchewan Science Centre, Science World British Columbia and HR MacMillan Space Centre were just a few of many who held various talks and seminars to create awareness for LGBTQ+ people in STEM.
There are two recent opportunities to provide feedback to the Government of Canada:
Athena Swan Consultation
The Minister of Science is seeking feedback on a made-in-Canada approach to implementing the Athena SWAN program here in Canada, which is an internationally recognized initiative that celebrates higher education institutions that have implemented practices to advance equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the sciences.
As recently stated by Dr. Imogen Coe, Professor, Chemistry & Biology at Ryerson University and EDI champion (see list of compiled resources here), “it is imperative that women in science, allies, under-represented groups - all make their voices heard through this process [in order] to develop an Athena SWAN that is representative - and cuts across all intersectionalities and disciplines”. With academic partnerships across the CASC network and even researchers embedded within some organizations, this is an opportunity for CASC members to make our voices count and to share this consultation opportunity with our respective partners.
Help improve the NRCan website
Science Literacy Week is just around the corner and if you're already set to be involved you can add events directly to the newly updated site at scienceliteracy.ca!
If you would like to be involved in some way you can still do small-scale programs, partner with local groups or just join the week by highlighting what you do with #scilit starting in September.
Stay tuned for a CASC-supported space project currently in the works!
David Saint-Jacques was speaking at the Conversation with an Astronaut programme at the Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, recently.
A doctorate in astrophysics, David Saint-Jacques also studied medicine and began working as a family physician in remote places in Canada, practising isolated medicine.
He had completed his family medicine residency at McGill University in Montreal, Canada (2007), where his training focused on first-line, isolated medical practice.
He also continued to participate in various geology, glaciology and other scientific expeditions.
He moved to Houston (US) in 2009 for training after he was selected by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
At that time, there were 14 members in the 20th NASA astronaut class, out of which only four, including Saint-Jacques, remain as active members.
He was assigned to the Robotics Branch of the NASA Astronaut Office, after he completed basic training and then acted as Support Astronaut for International Space Station (ISS) Expedition.
Among the various training imparted to them, meeting challenges was a key component.
In order to be prepared to face any challenging situation that may arise suddenly in space, they receive training to be alert and well prepared so that there is no scope of making any errors, said Saint-Jacques.
A new exhibition at the Montreal Science Centre allows visitors to touch a genuine piece of moon rock.
The specimen, on loan from NASA, is the 10th of its kind to be put on display in museums around the world.
"It was really a privilege," said Cybèle Robichaud, director of programming for the Science Centre, located at Montreal's Old Port.
The moon rock is nearly four billion years old and was collected in 1972, during the last mission to the moon — Apollo 17. When the centre first contacted NASA, it never expected to get a sample of moon rock that people were actually allowed to put their hands on.
One of the many things the Okanagan Science Centre is good at is getting kids to learn while having fun and the latest exhibit does just that.
Fast Tracks allows children of all ages to build paths of tubes and connections that a wooden ball can role through.
Designed and built by OSC head of exhibits Joanne Sale, the exhibit gets children of all ages using their minds.
The international award-winning bathroom at the Saskatchewan Science Centre is now up for a Canadian award.
The newly renovated bathroom is one of five finalists for Cintas Canada's Best Restroom Contest.
The restroom has an outdoor theme and is designed to look like an outhouse in the woods. It's meant to immerse users in the sights and sounds of the boreal forest.
Ontario Science Centre,Toronto, reportedly one of the world's first interactive science museums, opened in 1969 and is a global leader in life long learning
POPnology communicates with past, present and future and shows how human imagination has the power to predict the future.
During an interview session with Dr Maurice Bitran, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Science Officer of the Ontario Science Centre on May 19, Bitran said the research that is done in Science and technology in this centre is more about communicating with the students and to "solve the very significant sustainability problem of science, technology and innovation."
Bitran added that kids in Ontario are exposed to Science in grade 9th and 10th and the centre felt it should intervene to facilitate kids to absorb all aspects of science and technology in the best perspective.
Ontario Science Centre's research in fact, continues Bitran, is all about communication, not only between the researchers, the students and other public; it is about communicating between the past, present and the future.
A year ago, Vancouver resident Kurtis Baute decided to quit his job as a science teacher, and in January he moved full time into making YouTube videos for his science-oriented channel.
Now he hunts for massive science projects to take on in the name of increasing science literacy and excitement in young people about the field.
“Whatever the craziest science projects I can come up with that I think are at the border of possible for me to do, you know, I’m looking for those sorts of projects,” he said.
Cycling 140 kilometres with a sundial to prove the Earth is round was one of his first ideas.
“We’re in an age now where we have more science and a better understanding of the universe than ever before, and yet … flat Earth is a movement that’s gaining traction somehow,” he said.
Leaving early on Wednesday morning, Baute will cycle approximately 140km along Highway 33 from Regina to Stoughton — one of the longest straight stretches of highway in the world. Baute said it’s important that the road is straight because it makes measuring the exact distance between locations much simpler.
In Stoughton, Baute will set up a sundial using a metre-long stick attached to a wooden base. In Regina, Casey Sakires, manager of programming at the Saskatchewan Science Centre, will set up an identical sundial.
The CASC office is situated in Robinson Huron Treaty territory and the land on which we learn and live is the traditional territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek.
©2017 Canadian Association of Science Centres