We are now taking names for the 2012/2013 season. Fieldtrips will start January latest (maybe earlier) You can email Dave Ng (email@example.com) to be placed on an emailing list.
Presumably, art and sciences can interact a little like the image above? The Science Creative Literacy Symposia is a new field trip program offered at the University of British Columbia, and is designed to provide an engaging outreach experience for students at the Grade 6/7 level. Here, the intent is to combine elements of science exploration with expository creative writing with the aim of fostering skills in written literacy, scientific literacy, as well as develop appreciation in interdisciplinary connections. For a sense of where the idea came from, click here (hat tip to 826National).
Hosted by the Advanced Molecular Biology Lab at the Michael Smith Laboratories, and by fine folks from the UBC Creative Writing Program and UBC Let’s Talk Science, the field trips will be held at the Michael Smith Building. Both research laboratory settings as well as spaces conducive for reflective writing activities will be used.
Each session involves a class of Grade6/7 students (about 30 max), and will encompass a timeframe from 10am to about 2pm – this includes a lunch break of 15 to 20 minutes somewhere in the middle. Basically, the session will be run by two instructors; one a Graduate Student within a scientific discipline, and the other a Masters of Fine Arts student within the Creative Writing program. Each session will be designed to allow the elementary students to play the both the role of the scientist (perform a science experiment) and the writer (engage in a reflective writing exercise), with a concerted effort to provide linkage between the two skill sets. As well, it is hoped that there will be an outlet for publication of works from these sessions, whilst still allowing copyright to remain with the student. The fieldtrip is free (first come first served in terms of bookings), although transportation and lunch is not provided.
TBA Note that we will likely be holding all SCLS field trips on mondays. If you’re interested in booking, we are currently taking names of interested teachers. We plan on holding a maximum of 16 sessions during the second semester.
Some detailed logistics (forms, scheduling, directions):
We ask that (if possible) a consent form be filled before coming to the lab. This form allows us the option of presenting the student’s quality work to a wider public. This will be for strictly non-commercial first publication use. Copyright of pieces produced will thereafter remain with the student(s).
(full details and pdf of consent form – click here)
9:45am – 10:00am: Meet at the foyer of the Michael Smith Building (link to directions can be found here)
10:00am – ~11:45am: Some combination of science and/or writing activities. Likely, the majority of time will focus on the science experiment which will vary according to the instructors present.
~11:45am – 12:15pm: 30 to 40 minute lunch break. Lunch is not provided, but space for lunch sitting is there if needed.
12:15pm – 2:00pm: Some combination of science and/or writing activities: Here, it’s likely most of the time will focus on the writing exercises, which also will vary depending on the instructors present.
Some biographies of our past instructors
Eric Abbott is a Master’s student in Botany in Dr. Jörg Bohlmann’s lab at the Michael Smith Laboratories. He is excited about his research because he gets to cut trees with lasers! No, this isn’t a new efficient method of clear-cutting forests… he uses a laser dissecting microscope to isolate cells from conifer trees that are important for defense against insects and fungal pathogens. You might say he’s a microscopic lumberjack! He has done work in a variety of other labs including Infectious Diseases, Enzymology and Wine Research.
Larissa Buijs is an MFA student in the Department of Creative Writing at UBC. Her stories and photography have been published in numerous commercial magazines. She once wrote about how the glaciers of Garibaldi Park are disappearing and then it got cold and nobody noticed. Larissa hikes, rides horses and lives in Squamish.
Mike Christie is currently a Master’s student in Creative Writing at UBC. His fiction has been nominated for the Journey Prize and has appeared in places as prestigious as Thrasher Magazine. He had a chemistry set as a kid and hopes the SCLS is going to be like that, but with cooler explosions.
Erika Eliason is a PhD student in the Department of Zoology at UBC. Her research focuses on how global warming is affecting migrating Pacific salmon in the Fraser River. When Erika is not playing with fish, she loves traveling, playing soccer and sharing her love of science and learning with students of all ages.
Joanne Fox is an instructor at the Michael Smith Labs who loves to talk about Science. She often introduces herself as a biologist who gets to play with computers all day long. She lives with her family, which includes their singing dog, Penney, in a historic fishing village just outside of Vancouver.
Elena Johnson is a poet and performer who has also worked as a forest researcher in the wilds of northern Ontario. She is an experienced environmental educator and has lived in many parts of Canada.
David Kent originally hails from St. John’s, Newfoundland and completed an undergraduate degree in Genetics and English Literature at the University of Western Ontario in London, ON. Currently, David is in the 5th year of a PhD Program in Genetics at the University of British Columbia. His research is in the field of stem cell biology where he is interested in understanding the regulation of blood stem cells.
Jacqueline Monaghan was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She obtained her Hons. B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 2005, and is currently working towards her Ph.D. at the Univeristy of British Columbia. Her thesis explores the molecular genetics of plant innate immunity.
David Ng is a Faculty member at the UBC Michael Smith Laboratories. He has a background (and a lab) in molecular genetics, but currently spends most of his academic time involved in issues of science literacy. His father once beat up Bruce Lee, which (unfortunately) is something he may talk about at his sessions.
Adrienne Nye is a Master’s student in Plant Science at the UBC Michael Smith Laboratories. Having extensive experience in music and theatre since the early stages of childhood she continuously splits her time between the right and left sides of her brain. When she is not in the lab researching how plants can be used to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, you will most likely find her snowboarding, surfing, or looking for adventure.
Sandra Pettman writes poems, stories, and -sometimes- gibberish. She also works in Vancouver General Hospital setting up help at home for patients who are ready to leave the hospital but not quite independent. Her favourite snack is cookies.
Roger Pylypa is writing a kids’ science fiction novel. He also writes songs, plays croquet, dances ballroom, and is trying to figure out poetry. His claim to fame is to have invented the character who will become the first human on Mars.
Lars Rose, PhD in alternative energies (solid oxide fuel cells) at the UBC Department of Materials Engineering and the National Research Council Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation. Energy policy expert. Studied, lived, researched and authored in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Canada, and can’t keep his fingers off creative arts-sciences
Liz Ross is from Victoria and spent the last four years in Nanaimo working on her BA in Creative Writing and English. She’s currently in her first year in the MFA program at UBC. When she starts to take herself too seriously, her pug, Louis, tells her to lighten up.
Rhea Tregebov is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at UBC, where she teaches poetry and translation. She still has a crush on her high school physics teacher.
Shannon Woron was born and raised in Burnaby with three other siblings (who often act as inspiration for her writing whether they like it or not!) She has completed her first year of the MFA program and will be writing her thesis in poetry. She also teaches aerobics and swimming on the side to stop her from going stir crazy after too many hours of writing at the computer.