Physics student Melissa Mathers says that it’s important to foster a new generation interested in science.Physics student Melissa Mathers says that it’s important to foster a new generation interested in science.

Team challenge to foster kids’ interest in science

It’s important to get a new generation of young people interested in the sciences, says Melissa Mathers, just finished her third year of studies in physics.

“We need their help in solving some of the big problems we’re going to face,” she says.

Mathers is one of the UWindsor students who will be volunteering during the Let’s Talk Science Challenge, which will bring grade 6, 7 and 8 students from local elementary schools to campus for team competition that encourages participants to view science, technology, engineering and math as fun and practical career choices.

“I really like to get kids excited about science,” says Mathers, who will host a Science Quiz Show during the day’s activities. She has also volunteered with Science Rendezvous and presentations in school classrooms. “Science is near and dear to my heart.”

The Let’s Talk Science Challenge was developed in 2005 and will be held this year at 23 sites across Canada. The Windsor event—the city’s first—is set for Friday, May 2, in Erie Hall. In addition to the quiz component, it will feature a design competition, which challenges students to build an object using limited materials.

Third-year biology major Richard Pham will be one of the judges. He says he is looking forward to seeing the youngsters engage in a creative way with science.

“It’s good to see students use what they have learned to apply science to real-life situations,” says Pham. “That is the best way to foster an appreciation for these subjects.”

Organizers expect about 70 students to take part from six schools: Al Hijra Academy, Lakeview Montessori, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Chatham, Kingsville’s St John de Brebeuf, St. Gregory Catholic Elementary School and Tecumseh Vista Academy.

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