GLOWS Enjoys Successful Summer of Science

It was a mind-stretching summer for kids from around the West Kootenay and Boundary region as the GLOWS summer camps brought science to life.

The annual camps are now over, but opportunities for kids to learn at Selkirk College will continue.

Young people around the West Kootenay and Boundary region will be heading back to school with an enhanced knowledge of science after taking part in Selkirk College summer camps.

The Selkirk College GLOWS (Growing Learning Opportunities With Science) camps took place in six different communities and more than 100 kids had fun with science during the summer break.

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Logan Skoreyko, Alex Rankin, Cole Elgert, and Tajas Paepcke experiment with quicksand goo during the Crawford Bay engineering camp.

“This summer’s science camps were very successful, as GLOWS received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from campers and parents,” says Beth Corven, GLOWS Program Coordinator.

Camp coordinators traveled to Trail, Castlegar, Kaslo, Nakusp, New Denver and Crawford Bay to teach the various camps. The biology camp involved learning about bacteria, DNA and the human body, with fun activities and lab experiments. In the engineering and physics camps, kids learned teamwork, problem solving and participated in exciting construction projects. While in coding camps, students learned how to code Lego Mindstorm and Arduino software in order to make functional robots.

Selkirk College Students Become Teachers

Lauren Walgren—one of the GLOWS camp instructors and a student in the Selkirk College School of University Arts & Sciences—used her firsthand knowledge of Selkirk’s lab facilities to enrich the camper experience in the Castlegar engineering and biology camps. Both camps took place in the labs, and students were able not only to use lab equipment but also to view specimen samples and human anatomy and physiology models.

The age of campers ranged from six to 14. In post-camp reviews, one camper described the week as “better than excellent” while another said that “there’s no word in the dictionary to describe how awesome!” One parent wrote, “Both my boys were so happy in this camp… I love that they talked about and did ‘real’ science as opposed to watered down boring science.”

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Ava Schleppe and Ava David create their Arduino robot during GLOWS coding camp in Trail.

“This was an exciting opportunity to further science exploration among youth in the Kootenay region,” says Aislynn Hunt, a camp instructor who is entering her third year as an anatomy and cell biology student at McGill University in Montreal.

GLOWS was founded in 2007 by the Kootenay Association of Science and Technology (KAST). This year, GLOWS began to run under the Community Education and Workplace Training (CEWT) department of Selkirk College in order to extend reach and enhance sustainability. This partnership was also beneficial since GLOWS was able to use Selkirk College facilities and resources in the communities throughout the Kootenays, which enhanced learning opportunities.

With the successful summer now in the books, GLOWS will be organizing after-school programs for youth between the ages of six and 13 with a particular focus on girls in engineering. GLOWS anticipates at least one Girls After School Club in engineering as well as additional physics/engineering clubs for ages six to nine and 10 to 13. Students will take part in teamwork challenges, construction projects, basic coding and learning about the basic principles of science, all with the goal of having fun. GLOWS plans to return next summer with more exciting camps and experiments, ready to inspire young scientists.

For more information on GLOWS please visit the website.

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