|Human body weight tests the strength
of bridges built during the Grande Prairie Science Festival,
BY JEANNE KEASCHUK
Senior Outreach Coordinator
Popsicle stick bridges, flying rockets, tin foil barges,
cantilever toothpick beams, and tents with engineers and geoscientists.
These made up the sunny science days of summer for Grande
Prairie Outreach volunteers who participated in the city's
Science Festival in Muskoseepi Park, Aug. 10 and 17.
"Our hands-on activities were popular with all ages,"
said David Lario, E.I.T., the incoming Outreach coordinator
for the Peace River Branch, "and it was parents who asked
the most questions at the bridge building seminar we hosted."
David Grosvenor, an engineering student at the University
of Alberta and on a co-op work term with Weyerhaeuser, helped
staff APEGGA's tent. "This is my first time volunteering
for Outreach," commented David. "I really enjoyed
it and will definitely do it again."
David experienced a series of "wins" through his
participation and so did the APEGGA Outreach program. He met
and represented his future profession to many Grande Prairie
residents who visited APEGGA's hands-on science activity tent.
He contributed to a community event. He met, worked and played
with area engineers at the APEGGA booth.
The university student had great fun raising awareness about
engineering, and he will volunteer for APEGGA again.
The Science Festival program is an initiative of the Science
Alberta Foundation. The foundation helps communities start
up a festival to raise awareness of the importance of Alberta
science and technology. Communities then assume ownership
and operation of the festival on a yearly basis.
The Peace River and Fort McMurray branches of APEGGA have
supported science festivals in their areas as part of their
Outreach activities. The Lethbridge Branch will lend its support
to the first Lethbridge Science Festival, which will be launched
Participation in community programs and with other science
groups is an important aspect of APEGGA's Outreach program.
It promotes visibility of the professions, public recognition
of the contributions of engineers, geologists and geophysicists,
and interest in science, math and technology in Grades 1 to
Outreach Is Provincewide
The APEGGA Outreach program operates successfully on a provincewide
basis and this is not surprising when one considers the following:
- APEGGA has nearly 40,000 members and is growing.
- APEGGA is the third largest provincial association regulating
the practice of engineering, geology and geophysics in Canada.
- APEGGA is the largest professional association in Alberta.
- APEGGA is a presence that spans the province through member
branches in Calgary, Central Alberta, Fort McMurray, Lakeland,
Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Peace River, Vermilion River,
Yellowhead and head office Edmonton.
- APEGGA members hold paramount the health, safety and welfare
of the public in their practice; are proud of their profession
and work; seek to enhance their recognition and visibility,
and are willing to help to make it happen.
Every branch of APEGGA participates in Outreach. Activities
may vary, but there are many ways to achieve the goals of
The time, availability, activity preference and varied locations
of branch members are considered when choosing Outreach activities.
For example, Lakeland Branch prefers to focus on career fairs
and events, and school science events. Schools there now know
about their Outreach activities and invite their participation
Fort McMurray has developed excellent ties with the Oil Sands
Discovery Centre, which collaborates on special science events
for the public. Medicine Hat holds successful hands-on science
activities at community libraries.
The Peace River Branch sponsors annual rotating Family Science
Nights at elementary schools in Grande Prairie and Peace River.
The Grande Prairie Science Olympics, now in its third year
of successful operation, has evolved into an event supported
by local industry, schools and other science groups.
Branches also support National Engineering & Geoscience
Week activities initiated by APEGGA and may host local events
to celebrate the week. Branch Outreach volunteers support
the APEGGA Teacher Awards program and events such as Alberta
Science & Technology Week.
APEGGA branches are making a significant contribution to
raising awareness of the professions and to promoting science,
math and technology in Alberta. Please help us to do more.
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