GLOWS- Growing, Learning Opportunities With Science– is a youth science education program initiated by the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST).
With the goal of inspiring and supporting youth interest in science and technology, the program has supported projects throughout the Kootenay-Boundary region ranging from robotics circuit training and competition to summer science camps to the West Kootenay Regional Science Fair. GLOWS partners with many educators, scientists, municipal organizations and community members to bring high quality science- and technology-related events and activities to our youth. Students love the activities and events, and parents love that their children are receiving hands-on, creative and engaging opportunities to advance their knowledge of science and technology.
What’s more is that the program is helping to build a future generation of scientists, engineers, educators and innovators who are personally invested in the Kootenays and who are most likely to share their talents and resources in the Kootenay Boundary area, contributing to the region’s economic success and viability.
Earlier this year it was identified that the mandate of GLOWS would be more likely to realize its goals under the educational management and mandate of Selkirk College.
Selkirk College fills the gap to continue GLOWS program
Faced with significant challenges, primarily that of adequate operational funding, and wanting to keep the program going, the KAST board made the decision that GLOWS would work with Selkirk College to transition to Selkirk’s Community Education & Workplace Training (CEWT) program.
Taking over the GLOWS program allows Selkirk College to promote their own mandate to support lifelong learning which includes the young learners in our communities. GLOWS provides Selkirk a means through which they can outreach to the K-12 population and increase programming while supporting current and future full time employees.
Where GLOWS was previously lacking in the necessary administrative support and resources, Selkirk’s administrative support, resources and partnerships are extensive and will be able to contribute to the continued evolution of GLOWS operationally and programmatically.
Additionally, as a program under Selkirk College, GLOWS can apply to become an Actua member, strengthening GLOWS training, networking, access to resources and programming.
Last, but not least, the transition of GLOWS provides significant opportunities for current Selkirk students to develop and practice their skills, engage with local communities, local industry and their younger peers. Under the Actua model, Selkirk students will be the primary staff of the GLOWS program. A student coordinator will develop programming to fit delivery in a variety of settings (in-class, after-school and summer programs), and student instructors will deliver the programs. It is anticipated that student hires will be from the STTEAM fields, with an emphasis on hands-on, interactive science and technology exploration.
GLOWS: promoting community-based science education & exploration
GLOWS provides community-based science workshops, camps, events and initiatives, as well as outreach in the Kootenay-Boundary region of BC to youth ages 5-19.
Programming will be provided in at least 10 rural communities and will include robotics, coding, chemistry, engineering, environmental science, physics and biology, among other subjects. GLOWS partners with schools, professional associations and other organizations to provide initiatives that allow children of all ages to participate in hands-on science exploration.
Activities are designed and facilitated by Selkirk College students and supported by Selkirk’s facilities, resources and staffing.
GLOWS has three primary objectives:
1. To provide engaging, innovative, hands-on youth STTEAM programming;
2. To support partnerships and collaborate with other organizations to capitalize on efforts to increase youth engagement and interest in science, engineering and technology; and
3. To provide youth with the pathways to follow and tools they need to pursue postsecondary education and careers in science and technology.
GLOWS will accomplish their objectives through four main activities: 1) in-school workshops, 2) after-school science clubs; 3) summer science camps, and 4) special events and initiatives.
What’s new for GLOWS with Selkirk
There will be several new initiatives for GLOWS under Selkirk’s administration. These include:
In fall 2016, GLOWS will begin offering in-class workshops for all interested elementary/science teachers within the four partner school districts: Arrow Lakes (SD 10), Boundary (SD 51), Kootenay Columbia (SD 20), and Kootenay Lake (SD 8).
Workshops will address provincial Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLOs) which set the learning standards for the provincial K to 12 education system and form the prescribed curriculum for British Columbia. PLOs are statements of what students are expected to know and do at the end of an indicated grade or course, and schools have flexibility in determining how delivery of the prescribed learning outcomes can best take place. GLOWS can support teachers, particularly elementary-level teachers by enhancing instruction of science in the classroom.
Workshop content will be developed by GLOWS staff – two paid Selkirk student instructors – who wiill arrive in each classroom equipped with supplies, enthusiasm, and excitement for a busy two-hour science, engineering, and technology workshop. Sessions will consist of exciting demonstrations, interactive experiments, and hands-on activities on subject matters in chemistry, computers, physics, biology and more. Upon completion of the workshop, the class will have developed an excitement for science, engineering, and technology while interacting with positive postsecondary student role models.
After-School Science Clubs
As with the in-school workshops, after-school clubs will be provided by Selkirk science students one day per week at an elementary or middle school. Clubs will typically run 1-2 hours and are full of interactive, hands on, and experiential science learning.
Expanding Summer Science Camps
During the months of July and August, GLOWS will offer science camps to youth in grades 2 through 7. Youth in communities not currently served by recreation organization or municipality camps, such as New Denver, Nakusp, Kaslo and others not served by municipal organizations, are eligible to attend our science, engineering and technology-focused summer camps. All summer camp programs mix incredible experiments, fun indoor and outdoor activities, and face time with postsecondary science students. Camps emphasize exploration of science, engineering and technology through hands-on activities, labs, games and week-long projects. Campers get the opportunity to explore the university, meet researchers, and conduct experiments in real labs.
GLOWS Special Events and Initiatives
Since 2007, GLOWS has supported and provided unique and stimulating science events and initiatives throughout the region.
West Kootenay Regional Science Fair & Community Science Celebration
Increases youth understanding and use of scientific inquiry and offers direct feedback on student projects, including research, experimentation and innovation. Showcases local science education and career opportunities to public and families.
Provides inspiration and opportunities for girls to meet female science professionals through panel discussions, hands-on workshops and a keynote speaker. Girls learn about critical requirements for entry and advancement into science and technology education and careers.
Robotics Training and RoboGames
Individuals and teams of youth design, build and program robots to compete in the RoboGames. Provides youth with experience and knowledge valuable for engineering and computer sciences.
APEGBC Popsicle Building Contest
Youth design and construct popsicle bridges which are tested by APEGBC professionals to determine their load bearing capacity. They increase understanding about engineering and physics.
Kootenay Contraption Contest
The Kootenay Contraption Contest invites students in Grades 2-8 to imagine and design a “contraption” that solves some future problem, typically presented as a question such as “Imagine the year is 2050. How will we cook, heat and cool our homes?”
BC Innovator Skills Initiative
Up to $7,500 to help your company hire a business or technical student. Apply here.