Urban and Rural Youth as Environmental Scientists is a three-year program funded by the Ministry of Research and Innovation under its Youth Science and Technology Outreach Program. It will connect students from rural and urban schools with leading scientists and technologists at York University and Seneca College. The program is a joint initiative of York University, Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology and two participating school boards – Toronto Catholic District School Board and Simcoe County District School Board.
Each June, twelve Grade 8 students from each board will spend four days at the York University campus and four days at the King Campus of Seneca College in a science immersion experience. Students will be involved in hands-on activities and explorations with scientists and their research teams both on and off campus. During each camp there will be an opportunity for people in the community to attend an open house at which one or two of the participating scientists will speak about their research.
Over the three years of the project, a total of twelve mentored placements will be offered to students at the camp who show a keen interest in science. Each placement will allow a student to work under the mentorship of a scientist for four days during their Grade 9 year.
The 2007 YSTOP camp (May 30 to June 6) involved students in investigating environmental issues such as light pollution, the impact of invasive species, and the effects of various practices on water quality, bird habitats, and bee populations. Field activities were led by experts including York University researchers, Dr. Dawn Bazely, Dr. Paul Delaney, Dr. Pat Hall, and Dr. Bridget Stutchbury, Seneca College professor, Dr. Michael Gadsden, Ron Reid from the Ministry of the Environment, Dr. Brian Hickey of the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences, and York graduate students Nora Saona, Corinne Sperling, Sheila Colla, Hein Ngo, Robin Metcalfe, Rachel Ward, and Aaron Maxwell from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and Sheliza Ibrahim and Lindsay Kallish from Faculty of Education. Dr. Laurence Packer spoke on his work with bees at the concluding open house. The camp was a wonderful success!
- Program Page @ York-Seneca Institute for Mathematics, Science & Technology Education (YSIMSTE)
- Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation Overview Page
For more information, please contact:
Fiona White, Coordinator
fiona_white [@] edu.yorku.ca
In 2008, IRIS will host the YSTOP blog that will document the experiences of mentors and student participants. Read it here!