THUNDER BAY - Local politicians got a glimpse of a special type of science camp on Thursday.
MP Patty Hajdu of Thunder Bay-Superior North riding, and MP Don Rusnak of Thunder Bay-Rainy River visited with youth at Vance Chapman School to see how kids were enjoying summer camp.
“We are not school. Science has to be fun. Science has to be engaging,” said staff scientist Sean Murray.
Science North is an educational resource that has spent eight years in Thunder Bay. This summer it hosted 340 children during nine weeks of camp, an all-time high according to Murray.
“Yes!” a group of four children exclaimed when asked if they preferred the learning experience at Science North compared to regular camp.
“It’s fun because we get to eat what we learn,” said Samantha Bradley who attended the “seed to feed” section which teaches students about the science of food.
“Over the last few years in partnership with the federal government, they’ve been able to expand their reach and their footprint,” Hajdu said.
“We’re really grateful to the work that Science North is doing, to make sure that young people across the region have access to, and exposure to science.”
The camps don’t just reach the children of Thunder Bay. Thirty-six Northern communities encompassing roughly 3,200 children have taken part in a Science North camp this year.
“What community wouldn’t want these programs?" Rusnak asked. We’ve been working with staff to fund the programs into the communities and I think that’s great.”
Children from ages 4-13 got the chance to take on various tasks on Tuesday, such as building a dirt diagram with Oreos, dissecting owl pellets, and making their own layers of the ocean.
“We do things in an informal way,” Murray said. “It’s curriculum-relevant, it’s anything they’d learn in school, but we make it fun to do so. We get hands-on, we get their hands dirty. Kids have fun, and if they learn some science too, that’s a bonus.”