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Junior SCIENCE-ist programme launched for primary school students

Junior SCIENCE-ist  programme launched for  primary school students

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Primary school students are set to receive a more hands-on approach to science, with the launch of a Junior “SCIENCE-ist” Programme at the Heritage Museum and Science Center (HMSC) at New Montrose.

Conservation biologist and educator{{more}} Lystra Culzac, head of the HMSC and lead facilitator of the programme, announced recently that the programme is aimed at stimulating interest among youth in the sciences, with strong emphasis on the natural environment and its preservation. The programme is also geared towards supporting the primary schools’ science curriculum through practical, hands-on learning.

“Our organization’s mission is really to cultivate and enhance interest in biodiversity and heritage preservation through exploration, interactive discovery and stimulating learning environments.

“Our objectives include creating an appreciation for the mechanics of nature, and how nature has influenced technology. We want to promote participation, teamwork and problem solving among students and generally to create an appreciation of the pure sciences,” Culzac said.

She pointed out that the programme, for children ages 8-12 years, would be working in support of the national primary school science curriculum. Other programme facilitators include persons trained in wildlife protection, botany, environmental education, biology, and veterinary and pure sciences. The programme will take place on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“We are finding that because the science curriculum is so packed already, that oftentimes teachers can only get to teach their classes utilizing notes. However, science itself is a practical subject, and in order to really understand and appreciate science, it has to be experienced practically. It has to be hands-on. One has to be able to observe the processes that are taking place around you.”

Culzac-Wilson said that the programme would be an ongoing one, running 8 – 10 weeks per term, and will include a summer programme in July/August.

At least 35 children are expected to participate in this initial stage, with plans to expand the programme over time to include younger and older students.

She pointed out that the programme’s initial theme is “Connecting youth through birds and biodiversity,” and will focus on birds, their importance to man and their influence on technology.

“A lot of our programme will take place in the outdoors, and it is going to be hands-on, so the children must be prepared to feel and touch and hold animals and plants and in general, interact with the outdoors.”

Parents interested in the programme may contact Culzac at 593-3763.

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