Our second stop on the tour was in the city of Nanaimo. Yes, home to the delicious Nanaimo bar. Besides munching on these delicious treats, we spent our days connecting with the students at Cedar Community Secondary School which only recently re-opened. Technically, this school is just outside of Nanaimo and located in Cedar, BC. We were reminded of this fact as the students shouted a prideful “Cedar!” instead of “Nanaimo!” during the innovation presentation.
Since this was a small school, only one presentation was done for the entire school – props to Nick who did a fantastic job! Students and teachers were very engaged during the interactive segment. They were eager to share how they came up with a way to tackle the problem they were given. While this part of the presentation was short, people seemed to wake up and pay attention during this segment. To me, this observation underscores the importance of engaging with the audience. Note: pictures of students could not be taken since they did not sign media release forms, so this post won’t have too many photos.
Due to logistics and the low number of senior high school students in the new school, the exhibit welcomed more grade 6-8 students than usual. This was an interesting experience because although they were drawn in by the novelty of some aspects of the exhibit, their attention span was short. Since physics is not covered in class until high school, they were not as engaged as some of the high school students that I have seen. Perimeter Institute has now created a scavenger hunt which helps visitors navigate through the exhibit. While it helps some students, I can’t help and wonder whether or not students are actually learning any content since they’re so worried about finding the answer.