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5th Wild About Science Symposium

Telus World of Science opened their doors to 100 delegates attending the 5th WILD ABOUT SCIENCE Odyssey Symposium on November 3, 2012. Educators from 75 schools across 30 school districts in BC participated in hands-on workshops and worked together to generate new ideas for engaging students in science, technology, engineering and math. Dr. Valerie Irvine - from University of Victoria’s Technology Integration & Evaluation (TIE) Research Lab - shared her insights on technology innovation for inquiry-based learning, encouraging teachers to stay “out of the box” and to explore new ways of using technology.

Odyssey Schools – including Carihi, ASIA Sumas Mountain, WL Seaton, Dawson Creek, LV Rogers, AD Rundle, Summerland and King George Secondary - showcased innovative teaching practices and its impact on their students. Odyssey partners from Science World, Genome BC, U Vic Earth & Ocean Sciences and Beyond the Blackboard shared their resources and expertise. Odyssey Teachers - from North Delta, AD Rundle, Steveston-London, Summerland Secondary and Abbotsford School District - acted as Workshop Catalysts to share their creative ideas and help stimulate new ways of teaching.

Workshop topics included: Cool Science World Demos, Genome BC Outreach Resources, What’s in Your Stuff (Earth Sciences), Bridging the Gap Between Field Trips and the Classroom, Engineering Activities & STEM Skills, Inquiry Challenges for Science Process Skills, Science Technology, 21st Century Learning with iPads, and Building Community Partnerships & Sustainable Resources. Mitchell Odyssey Foundation Board Members hosted workshops and helped facilitate discussions. Networking cards encouraged delegates to exchange ideas and turn Odyssey ideas into actions back in the classroom. Boreal Northwest provided prizes and “goodie” bags, and Genome BC provided instructional DVD’s

Several schools were honoured with Odyssey Outstanding Achievements Awards, before closing remarks by Dr. Bruce Beairsto – MOF Director and former Superintendent of Richmond School District. Bruce delivered an inspirational and thought-provoking speech about how to embrace the turbulent times of change and to focus on pace, pedagogy, passion and personalization. He encouraged delegates to try new ways of teaching and learning, that mastery is not the ideal, and that we can fail fast and innovate – in a continuous, collaborative process of learning.

Here is some feedback from a few Odyssey delegates and partners:

The sessions were very good, informative, tactile and “outside the box”. The presenters were great! This symposium is consistently the best Pro D of my teaching year.
— Odyssey Symposium ’12 Participant