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Biology student Maha Hammoud (right) helps Jasmine El-Haj and Emily Herba remove their model fossils from clay moulds, Thursday in Erie Hall.Biology student Maha Hammoud (right) helps Jasmine El-Haj and Emily Herba remove their model fossils from clay moulds, Thursday in Erie Hall.

Summer camp visits aim to inspire love of science

Busloads of children from summer camps in social housing neighbourhoods came to campus last week for hands-on experiences in science.

The Faculty of Science and Let’s Talk Science at UWindsor teamed up with the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation and the Community University Partnership for the program, which brought youth from seven different summer recreation sites for half-day field trips.

“We’re trying to generate a positive association with science,” said Erika Haskings (BSc chemistry 2015), one of the Let’s Talk Science volunteers who helped to organize the event.

She led a classroom full of younger campers through a series of activities about dinosaurs and paleontology, including:

  • creating paper puppets to distinguish between herbivores and carnivores,
  • constructing models of a triceratops skeleton from cotton swabs,
  • using toothpicks to “dig” chocolate chips out of cookies, and
  • moulding their own fossils in clay and plaster.

Participant Jasmine El-Haj found herself short of time in making her dinosaur skeleton, so she drew one with crayons.

“This is great!” she enthused as she completed her project. “I’m learning a lot about dinosaurs.”

Older children enjoyed activities centred around forensics.

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