THUNDER BAY - With kids out of school and many staying home to practice social distancing amid the COVID-19 outbreak, there are still fun and exciting things to do, and important lessons to learn.
Science North is taking their interactive and fun demonstrations in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math online to give kids something they can try at home.
“Last week during March Break we thought it would be good to put together videos ahead of time that we could then roll out on Facebook to keep people entertained,” said Emily Kerton, senior scientist for outreach and Indigenous initiatives with Science North Thunder Bay. “We started this initiative where we are trying to keep the community together and apart.”
This week Science North launched it’s online At Home Science series, which involves sharing both recorded and live videos of science experiments for kids at home from school.
“We are doing as much as we can right now to make sure parents and kids have some do-it-yourself activities that are science related,” Kerton said.
The videos cover topics relating to all the STEM fields and one of the first videos took the classic baking soda and vinegar volcano experiment outside into the snow.
Kerton said it is all about keeping kids engaged with all things involving STEM, while also supporting people who are staying at home during the pandemic.
“It’s important that they don’t lose their interest in all things STEM related during this time off,” she said. “It’s also a way to support the parents. A lot of parents are looking for things to keep their kids educated and entertained and busy during this time off. So we are providing a support for them as well. They can interact with us through some of our live videos.”
The Live Bluecoat Q&A videos provide kids an opportunity to ask questions to the science team at Science North and Kerton said even though it has only been running this week, the response has already been really positive.
“So far everybody seems to really like it,” she said. “We had a live video where one of our staff members is showing the animals we have in our office in Thunder Bay. The reactions are great and everyone is excited and asking a lot of questions and asking us for more.”
Another video featured already was all about viruses because Kerton said a lot of people have questions relating to COVID-19 and how it works.
And keeping kids interested in STEM fields may even lead to new developments in the future to fight back against pandemics or prevent them from happening.
“There has been a lot of talk about how important science is to our world, especially in understanding how this virus is transmitted and the possibility of creating a vaccine,” Kerton said. “Even the math that is involved and flattening the curve, I definitely think people will be more interested in going forward.”
Videos are expected to run for the rest of the week and next. Tune in to Science North’s Facebook page every weekday at 10:30 a.m. for new content or visit the Science North website for more information.