Yellow Quill First Nation students participate in experiment at national research lab
- EFN Staff | July 06, 2017
High school students from Yellow Quill First Nation analyzed data from science experiments using the brightest light in Canada as part of a unique enrichment education program at the Canadian Light Source.
“It blew my mind when we came in to this really cool building,” said Trevor Peeace, a grade 10 student at Nawigizigweyas Education Centre. “It’s worth a lot of money.”
On June 14, Peeace and four other students in grades 10 and 11 enrolled in high school science courses visited the Canadian Light Source with Randall Fiddler, a grad mentor at the school. Using some of the most advanced science equipment in Saskatchewan, they spent the afternoon analyzing soil samples taken from a field where cattle had grazed.
“I’ve always liked science. This experience makes me think about science as a possible career,” said Whisper Quewezance, who is currently taking both grade 10 and 11 science courses.
The Light Source Student Experience is an opportunity for high school students to run real experiments using actual science equipment in order to expose teenagers to synchrotron-based investigations.
“It’s a terrific opportunity for high school students to come and see how exciting the world of science can be,” said Canadian Light Source Science Projects Manager Robert Blyth.
“These students are our future. We want to whet their appetites for science so they will consider becoming scientists themselves.”
The afternoon session proved invaluable for the students.
“They are very engaged in the experiments and learning through the activities,” said Fiddler.
“It’s important to promote to these students that opportunities exist in science and agriculture on our own territory.
Dawn Pratt, a social/science consultant with the Saskatoon Tribal Council, also participated in the afternoon’s experiments. She wants to promote more science within the tribal council’s schools.
“These students think that they aren’t scientists, but bringing them here and showing them that they could be a scientist is important. They just read the elements off the periodic table and they are analyzing soil samples. They are being scientists. This is what scientists do every day,” said Pratt.
This spring, more than 180 high school students from around Saskatchewan have participated in the Light Source Student Experience.