KAMLOOPS — There’s no doubt that technology has never played a bigger role in the everyday lives of people than it does now. With these huge technological innovations have come new employment opportunities in fields that never used to exist — but it also means we’ve had to change how we’re teaching subjects such as science, technology, engineering and math.
At the Big Little Science Centre this week, a group of prospective teachers from TRU spent some time getting hands-on experience with a group of kids at a science and technology camp, in order to get a head start in their careers.
It’s not your typical summer camp for these SD73 students.
“They’ve been selected specially by their principals because they have an interest in science, and they’re here at the camp for a week at the Big Little Science Centre,” TRU Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, Carol Rees explained.
The same goes for some of the instructors at the camp.
“We have teacher candidates who are training to be teachers at TRU,” Rees explained. “It’s a really exciting opportunity to bring teachers-in-training and students together.”
The plan is to give these prospective teachers a bit of hands-on learning with kids who are interested in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects, to help them prepare for the classrooms they’ll one day lead.
“The teacher candidates have very interesting backgrounds,” Rees said. “Some engineers, some scientists, different training. They’re bringing that to… the Grade 7 students in the camp.”
One of those teachers-to-be is Paige DeWolff.
“I have a science degree myself, and a lifelong passion for science,” DeWolff explained. “The past couple of years I’ve worked in wildlife education, so I’ve worked with kids getting to inspire them in their journey and interest in science.”
Her hope for her teaching career is to be able to foster the curiosity that most children are blessed with, in order to keep more students interested in careers in the STEM field as they get older
“During adolescence, teenagers and… pre-teens, their brains have so much grey matter that they really are sponges,” DeWolff told CFJC Today. “Since we in science are wanting to reinforce curiosity, investigation, passion, we want to be promoting it to the kids during the time when if they don’t use it, they might lose it. They might not have that curiosity as adults, and that’s what we really want to foster as educators.”
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