Literacy week shows children the magic of science

Science Literacy Week has grown into a nation-wide celebration

When Jesse Hildebrand was five or six years old, receiving an Oxford First encyclopedia as a present brought joy to his young heart.

Flipping through the book and seeing the scientific photos that illustrated astronomy, chemistry and other sciences excited him and sparked a life-long passion for science.

From there, his love of science spilled over into other parts of Hildebrand’s life. He loved reading and going to the library, watching the Crocodile Hunter with the late Steve Irwin, playing with dinosaurs, rocks and gems, and going into his backyard to count how many different types of insect species he could find.

Fast forward several years later and Hildebrand is just as fascinated by science as he was when he was a child. Most recently, he graduated from post-secondary with a degree in ecology and evolutionary biology.

“I was a tremendous nerd from birth…you look through a telescope and you see back in time at stars that were there a million years ago. You look into a microscope and see a million organisms,” he said, adding space and animals are his passions.

“Space I enjoy because it’s a humble way to see our place in the universe to know the scale and size of the universe around us.”

After graduating, Hildebrand noticed local libraries often showcased the latest bestsellers such as The Hunger Games, 50 Shades of Grey or Twilight, but rarely showcased books about science.

This was the catalyst for Hildebrand to start Science Literacy Week in Toronto and Mississauga three years ago, during which a few local groups, such as the library, aquarium and museum, put on events to encourage kids to become interested in science again.

Since then, Science Literacy Week has grown into a nation-wide celebration of science with more than 60 cities around the country participating, and more than 160 organizations putting on events from Sept. 19 to 25.

This year, there are a number of events planned at the Royal B.C. Museum, the Greater Victoria Public Library, the University of Victoria, and the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.

“I hope they’re going to take away that science is exciting, fun and accessible to everyone. I think the prevailing attitude is that science is for people in university or professional scientists, and doesn’t hold much interest to the greater public,” Hildebrand said.

“I think the week and activities can help change that attitude and showcase how tremendously exciting and magical it is.”

Local events include Surprising Science, where kids can mingle with staff and community members stationed around galleries at the Royal B.C. Museum, a DNA barcoding class, which teaches kids how to genetically identify the world around them at Victoria Makerspace, and Science Storytime for Preschoolers, where children between the ages of three to five can listen to stories and participate in activities that teach the scientific concepts behind the stories at the Greater Victoria Public Library’s Central Branch.

For a full schedule of events visit scienceliteracy.ca.

 

 

Just Posted

Researchers say ‘text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millenials’ skulls

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

Mix of sun and cloud in Monday’s forecast

Plus a look ahead at your week

Esquimalt hosts many highlights for everyone

Some of the Esquimalt’s newest additions and classic favourites for Township visitors to see

UVic microbiology student chosen for 2019 Amgen Scholars Canada Program

Dushanthi Dissanayake and 14 other Canadian students head to Toronto for mentorship, research

Peninsula literary aims to create book worms with open air library

Open a book in the open air on selected Tuesdays this summer

WATCH: Thousands gather for National Indigenous Peoples Day at Royal Roads University

Day to embrace and celebrate culture and lives of Indigenous peoples

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read