A 2006 large-scale research study by the University of Toronto found that after their SiS experiences:
- 75% of students expressed a heightened interested in science
- 99% of teachers reported their students learning in science and technology was enriched
- 90% of teachers indicated an enhanced confidence in teaching science and technology
- 100% of parents felt that SiS benefited their child's understanding of science concepts
- 1000s of parent volunteers were inspired and had an increased interest in science
- Overwhelmingly positive results for all students, with particular benefit for female students, ESL students and students at lower EQAO schools
Science with Inspiration: The SiS Impact
SiS believes strongly that science isn't just for "scientists". We aim to inspire all children, regardless of their future aspirations, and show them the worlds that exist with a strong foundation in science.
I really liked it when you made the dry ice and when you let us do the experiment. I wonder if some day I'll do something important like join N.A.S.A. or be the first person on mars. A kid can dream.
We are often asked what makes SiS so effective in "sparking" scientific interest in children. The answer lies in our approach - and our passion:
- Discovery-based workshops where children become the scientists - Children love to "learn by doing" and they get to "do" a lot in a SiS workshop - using equipment and materials often unavailable to schools. They question, investigate, observe and discover - just like real scientists.
"For the past three years my school has had the pleasure of the 'Scientists in School' program. What an inspiration it has been! Our community needs our young people to be open to the possibilities that science provides. 'Scientists in School' is so inviting and engaging that students are spurred on to believe in the possible. It is heartwarming for me to enter a classroom and hear a kindergarten student declare that he is going to be a scientist. ... Scientists in School is a highly effective program that impacts the school and community at large."
- Kathleen Manderville, Principal, Quinte Mohawk School
- Half-day format that allows for in-depth investigations - An SiS workshop provides ample opportunity for children to delve into topics and make meaningful discoveries using investigative approaches. We embrace the idea that, in science, there are no mistakes - only discoveries. Students often say they wish our workshops were longer!
We learned many new things about science and that you never make a mistake you just made a discovery. I think it is very interesting.
- The very best presenters and role models - SiS presenters are scientists, engineers, technologists and more drawn from the local community. They undergo extensive training with SiS and are passionate role models who motivate children with their experience and enthusiasm. They provide programming that's fun, enriching, and connected to the real world.
I learned alot now. I now know because of you nothing is impossible and I think that science is way more interesting than I would ever think.
- Repeated experiences throughout the formative elementary school years - Children have an innate curiosity and love for science. By targeting our efforts at elementary school children and providing repeated exposure throughout these critical years, we aim to inspire a passion for science to carry them through high school and beyond.
- Active parent involvement - SiS understands the vital role that parents play in their children's education. By engaging parents directly as "lab assistants" in SiS workshops, we aim to heighten their interest and ability to foster continued science exploration at home.
- Learning opportunities for teachers - SiS provides teachers with access to resources, science experts and ideas to enhance their "tool kit" for science teaching outside of the workshop.
- "Real world" connections - SiS workshops are connected to real world issues, seizing every opportunity to promote environmental stewardship, advance how technology leads to innovative solutions and illustrate to students how science is used to solve today's most pressing problems.
- Application of "life skills" - SiS workshops reach beyond science. We emphasize "process skills" (asking questions, making observations, recording and analyzing data, communicating findings) and "workplace skills" (teamwork, problem-solving, active learning, critical-thinking) - necessary no matter what life path is eventually followed.
Above all ... we make science relevant, achievable and FUN!!
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CFUW Ajax-Pickering branch launches SiS and 40 Durham classrooms participate.
SiS spreads into Toronto schools in response to high interest.
SiS incorporates as a charity, opens a second branch in Guelph and celebrates its 10-year anniversary. Close to 5,000 classrooms and over 100,000 students participate.
The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) initiates a large-scale study to evaluate the impact of SiS.
SiS launches a new branch in Ottawa and takes its first "road trip" to Fogo Island, Newfoundland. Over 400,000 students in 13 Ontario school boards are inspired.
Results of OISE Impact Study demonstrate the overwhelmingly positive impact SiS has on student interest in science. SiS launches program for Waterloo Region.
SiS expands to include Niagara Region and receives invitation to bring programs to the First Nations Community, Quinte Mohawk Tyendinaga Territory (an outreach trip that becomes annual). SiS surpasses half-a-million young learners across Ontario!
SiS expands into Simcoe County and runs pilot workshops in Lethbridge, Alberta.
SiS expands across the Kawartha-Peterborough Region and celebrates its 20th anniversary.
SiS reaches a significant milestone of opening its first branch outside of Ontario, in Lethbridge, Alberta. Over 575,000 students participate in 1700 classrooms and thousands more in community settings.
SiS begins delivering workshops in our newest region - Hamilton, Brantford, Brant, Haldimand, and Norfolk Counties.
Government of Canada announces Youth STEM support for Scientists in School through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
The 5 millionth student scientist participates in a SiS workshop.
Conference Board of Canada's Top 100 Best Community-Business-Education Partnerships
Awarded Michael Smith Award for Excellence in Science Promotion by The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
YWCA Durham Region Women of Distinction Award - Executive Director Cindy Adams
Ajax/Pickering Board of Trade 2009 Business Excellence Award