Science is fun! 0
Local students had the chance of a lifetime Friday as they participated in a world record attempt to be part of the largest practical science lesson occurring simultaneously in multiple locations.
Students from St. Anthony’s Catholic School in Chalk River and Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School in Petawawa, along with scientists from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited who volunteered their time to assist with the lessons, converged on the St. Anthony’s school gymnasium Friday afternoon. At precisely 1 p.m. teachers Jody Shaddick and Mark Sokolski began their science lesson which led students through two experiments – the kissing balloons and the water mister. At the end of the 30-minute session, the total count was 53 participants. An estimated 15,000 participants at 135 locations across the county were taking part in similar events simultaneously.
“It’s very exciting, I am very pleased with the result,” said Nicole Johnson, public affairs officer at AECL, who took a lead role in organizing the world record attempt.
St. Anthony’s approached AECL about partnering for the event, which also served to kick off National Science and Technology Week. Because St. Anthony’s is such a small school and a minimum of 25 people were required to make it a valid Guinness record attempt, Sorrows was invited to take part.
“With AECL located in Chalk River, this was an amazing opportunity for the scientists to work with the students, promote science and attempt the world record,” she said.
St. Anthony’s principal Shelley Montgomery called it an honour to be involved with the event, and she credited Ms. Johnson for her work to organize everything. She had an opportunity to visit the classroom following the experiments and she was thrilled with the feedback.
“I heard a lot of students saying ‘that was awesome’,” she said. “It is really great to see them excited and engaged about science.”
Dr. Robert Walker, president and CEO of AECL, was also in attendance Friday to speak with the students before they began their experiments. He felt this was a great opportunity for AECL to connect with the local community. He said it was easy to get scientists to volunteer for the event.
“This is hands-on, so they can show the practical side of science and have fun so it is a great combination,” Dr. Walker added.
The rules to achieve a record in the Guinness Book of World Records are very stringent. The witnesses to the attempt must complete the necessary documentation, which will be provided to Guinness, which will announce the final results in the coming weeks.