Expansion of the UBC Let’s Talk Science Partnership Program

TitleExpansion of the UBC Let’s Talk Science Partnership Program
Faculty/College/UnitVP Students
StatusCompleted
Duration3 Years
Initiation04/01/2005
Completion03/31/2008
Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2005/2006
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorDavid Kent
Year 1: Funded Amount17,775
Year 1: Summary

Let's Talk Science strives to improve science literacy through innovative educational programs, research, and advocacy. It exists to motivate and empower young Canadians through Science education. The Partnership Program is a national network of university-based volunteers who work within their communities to improve science literacy, A partnership program has existed at UBC since 1996. The program creates teacher-student partnerships that consist of a graduate student (or group of graduate students) and a teacher from an elementary or secondary school in the Vancouver area. The style of the partnership varies to suit the needs of those involved, but must consist of at least one visit by the graduate student(s) to the classroom where a hands-on demonstration or lecture is delivered to the students. The program consists primarily of graduate student volunteers. It is a unique opportunity to increase the professional development of graduate students by developing a keen sense of the importance of knowledge translation and community awareness. With TLEF funding we can expand and improve the program immensely through the development of the following initiatives:

  1. Rural Expansion Project
  2. LTS Invited Speaker Program
  3. UBC Okanagan Expansion
  4. Aboriginal Outreach
  5. Creation of a partnership with the UBC TREK Volunteer Program
  6. LTS Alumni Network
  7. The GSS Saturday Science Day

Our goal is to involve more graduate student volunteers, reach more elementary and secondary students in British Columbia, build strong relationships with the Vancouver community, and to enhance the quality of learning that happens within all groups.

Year 2: Project YearYear 2
Year 2: Funding Year2006/2007
Year 2: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 2: Principal InvestigatorDavid Kent
Year 2: Funded Amount18,000
Year 2: Summary

Let's Talk Science (LTS) strives to improve science literacy through leadership, innovative educational programs, research, and advocacy. We motivate and empower youth to use science, technology, and engineering to develop critical skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to thrive in our world. The Partnership Program (PP) is the postsecondary-based component of the LTS national program that focuses on the training of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the sciences to engage the public. At its core, the LTS-PP creates teacher-student partnerships that consist of an LTS-PP volunteer(s) and a teacher from an elementary or secondary school. It is a unique opportunity to increase the professional development of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows by developing a keen sense of the importance of knowledge translation and community awareness.

With renewed TLEF funding we can continue the highly successful initiatives that were established last year (rural community expansion, GSS Saturday Science Days, CEDAR summer day camp, community service learning partnerships, and the Invited Speaker Program) while further improving the program through the development new initiatives (professional development workshops, undergraduate student mentorship, Aboriginal student mentorship, the All-Science Challenge, and LTS Alumni Network Integration). Our goal is to involve more graduate students, integrate undergraduate students into our extensive programming, and to enhance the ability of students from both groups to teach scientific concepts to diverse audiences. The skills acquired in this program will be readily transferable to many positions including Teaching Assistantships and future Academic postings.

Year 3: Project YearYear 3
Year 3: Funding Year2007/2008
Year 3: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 3: Principal InvestigatorDavid Kent
Year 3: Funded Amount25,050
Year 3: Summary

The Let's Talk Science Partnership Program (LTS-PP) is a unique program that increases the professional development of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows by developing a keen sense of the importance of knowledge translation and community awareness. With renewed TLEF funding we can continue the successful initiatives that were established over the last two years (rural community expansion, the CEDAR summer day camp, community service learning partnerships, Invited Speaker Program, professional development workshops, Aboriginal student mentorships, the All Science Challenge, and the LTS Alumni Network) while further improving the program by expanding our connection and involvement with undergraduate students. Our goal is to involve more graduate students, integrate undergraduate students into our programming, and to enhance the ability of students from both groups to teach scientific concepts to diverse audiences. The skills acquired in this program will be transferable to many positions including Teaching Assistantships and future Academic postings.