Nuclear Innovation Institute’s Science in the Summer brings science to area children

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BRUCE, GREY, HURON – As Luke McBride explained, this part of Ontario doesn’t have access to the colleges and universities that usually bring science displays and programs to elementary schools, public libraries and summer day camps.

“It’s loads of fun,” he said.

That’s were Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) Explore Science in the Summer program comes in.

McBride and fellow instructor Hoda Faddah were at the public library in Walkerton on Aug. 19. The day before that, Faddah and instructor Annika Van Veen were at the library in Cargill.

The three, who are from Kincardine, have spent what they describe as a great summer.

“We get to go around to all the small communities,” said Faddah. “I’d never been to Cargill before.”

Sometimes they help students program a friendly robot; other times it’s racing a fantastic wood and paper creature in the wind, or constructing a giant marble run.

Sponsored by Bruce Power and Nuclear Waste Management Organization, NII Explore Science in the Summer brings hands-on scientific learning to students of all ages throughout Bruce, Grey and Huron counties.

This summer, students were offered the opportunity to get a “passport” and complete NII’s five STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities. Each one got them a stamp on their passport.

The next step is to bring the stamped passports to SWERVE, happening Sept. 9-11 at the Southampton Coliseum, where they will get their final stamp and the chance to win tech prizes. This free public festival gives visitors a chance to get a hands-on feel for how we’ll live in the future – virtual reality headsets that take people on a spacewalk or into the middle of a Cirque du soleil show; holograms that surprise and delight; robots that open doors, weed fields and beat you at Connect 4.

This is the second year for Science in the Summer. The 2021 program was phenomenally successful, through partnering with the Bruce County Public Library, local recreation departments, markets and festivals.

NII Explore helps students embrace new knowledge and gain the tools they’ll need to make a positive change in their communities and the world.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times