As we are exploring a particular topic in our respective Science programs, students frequently come up with intriguing and far-reaching questions related to the topic at hand. To record these questions, we began the Question Board -- a large sheet of paper on which our yet-to-be-answered questions can be placed.
We bring these questions boards with us to our meetings with the scientists from McMaster, and we invite them to take a look at our questions (usually written on yellow post-its) and to provide answers (seen on the blue post-its, below). Often the scientists, upon finding a particularly good question, will seek out the student(s) who wrote it, and in the process of providing an explanation to the questions a conversation will develop between the child and the scientist. These interactions have become an unexpected, but highly influential, bonus for all involved.
The overarching impression that we have had is that students have a tremendous number of questions about their world and how it is explored through the sciences. We also recognized that we are working with our students at a pivotal time in their lives in which they are becoming increasingly aware of the fascinating areas of inquiry of the natural world, in all of its manifestations.
Throughout September, we began planning and developing the upcoming exciting activities with our friends from McMaster, which include Dirt Days 1 and 2, DNA Day, and a number of dissection days. We have also planned to attend a lecture at the university, and to work with two other awesome groups run at McMaster -- Let's Talk Science and MCYU.