Friday, February 17, 2012

Sci Comm Students on the Road!

How many graduate students get to go on a field trip?!  We do!

Just this month we toured Southern Ontario; visiting the Perimeter Institute, the Institute for Quantum Computing, CTV studios, Daily Planet, the Ontario Science Centre and the Royal Ontario Museum!  It was a fantastic week with so many things to see and learn!

On our first day, we met SciComm alumnus Lisa Lambert at the Perimeter Institute.  She gave us a tour, introduced us to Alice and Bob AND invited us to stay for lunch at PI's very own cafe. 

Lisa Lambert and the Science Communication Class at the Perimeter Institute

Later that afternoon we met Martin Laforest at IQC, and boy does he have a tough job.  Everyday he has to explain quantum computing in a way that makes sense to everyone!  He did a wonderful job explaining it to us and we wish him, and the rest of IQC, a happy tenth anniversary later this summer!

Martin showing Hayley and Emily a real quantum computer!

That night we got the wonderful opportunity to attend one of PI's famous public lectures.  Kenneth Libbrecht spoke about the science of snowflakes.  Did you know that snowflakes are made up of ice crystals?  And those crystals grow into different shapes at different temperatures!  If you're interested, you can watch past PI lectures here.

The next day we woke up bright and early to tour the CTV studios in Toronto.  There we met Dan Riskin and Ziya Tong, the hosts of Daily Planet!  They invited us to tour the studio and walked us through a day in the life of science television.  We were extremely lucky to be there on Groundhog Day, so we met Clover the groundhog and got to watch them tape part of the show.

 Emily and Chantelle take photos of the Canada AM studio.

Ziya and Dan were kind enough to spare a few minutes for us
before they filmed a segment with Clover the groundhog.

Next it was off to a fun-filled afternoon at the Ontario Science Centre.  There, we really got a chance to let loose and play.  They even let us into the KidSpark area (it's normally reserved for their younger visitors).

On our last day we visited the Royal Ontario Museum.  There we found another SciComm alumnus, Julie.  We got to tour the biodiversity gallery (one of our alumni worked on the development of this gallery as an intern), the bat cave (Courtney's favourite!) and the Mayan exhibit, just to name a few.

Jeff, Chantal, Laura and Hayley were enthralled by Leaf Cutter ants at the ROM.

It was a busy few days, but we really got to tour the world of Science Communication.  We got to apply all of the theories we've learned, and see how they're put to practice in other places.

Now we're back at Science North and getting ready for our busiest months yet.  Stay tuned for updates about our exhibits, research projects AND a special event that we're planning at the end of March (you're invited!).

Until next time,