Making Science Fun!
Four times a year, for the past two years, children from Rossbrook House have been participating in a special after-school program at the RBC Youth BIOLab Jeunesse at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. The Youth BIOLab is a unique learning experience, designed as a space for students and teachers in grades 5-12 to explore and experience real biomedical science in a world-class research centre.
Shona Connelly and Karen Fowler (Donor Relations, St Boniface Hospital Foundation) were only too happy to reach out to a donor to help to create this experience for the Rossbrook participants.
“The children are learning something and it’s our pleasure to work with our donor, Bingo Palace and help provide that learning experience for them,” said Vince Barletta, President & CEO of St. Boniface Hospital Foundation.
Created a program specifically for Rossbrook House
Steve Jones (Director, RBC Youth BIOLab) and Meghan Kynoch (Program Coordinator, RBC Youth BIOLab) are used to creating programs that are unique to each school group. Providing a program for these 6-11 year olds wasn’t difficult for them. The children have hands-on learning, using equipment like microscopes, related to medical research and science.
“Each time they do something different. Last Halloween they looked at skeletons. They’ve also dissected the heart to learn more about heart cells. One activity each child got a baseball cap to draw the brain onto it,” Shona explained.
They have also learned about the lungs, cells and to treat organs with respect. Steve advises the children to resist the urge to say “ew” or “gross”. Instead he tells them to say; “Oh that’s very interesting.”
“You hear a lot of ‘oh that’s interesting’ in the room during a session,” Karen said.
Thrilled with the outcome
Everyone is thrilled with how these visits have gone- from the organizers to the children themselves. The donor, other foundation staff… anyone who drops in to visit can see how much the children enjoy this type of learning.
“The kids are interested, they’re inquisitive,” Karen said. “During the couple of hours they are with us they are an enthusiastic group.”
“Chocolate milk is always a favourite,” Karen added. The kids start off the evening with a meal provided by Sorrento’s on Ellice.
Rossbrook House is grateful to the St Boniface Hospital Foundation and RBC Youth BIOlab staff for creating this incredible opportunity for the Rossbrook House participants. Thank you also to Gerry Lomonaco from Sorrento’s for coordinating the meals. And a special thank you to Bingo Palace at Freight House for providing the generous donation to make this happen!