Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

We have lift off

Jillian Dickens
Northern News Services

Resolute (Mar 27/06) - Resolute kids can thank a brutal storm two years ago for helping them understand science.

In 2004, Dr. Haley Walker and a group of researchers were en route to the polar environment research centre in Eureka to do measurements of the earth’s atmosphere when the weather held them up in the High Arctic hamlet.

Soon, the hamlet folk and the science nuts got talking and Walker was asked to give a lecture in front of the entire school.

That’s when a partnership between Qarmatalik and ACE - the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment - was spawned. This is now the third year that the researchers have taught Resolute students about science.

Grade 4 student Monica Simeonie did a workshop on space science, in which she built a rocket ship.

“It was fun. My spaceship is hanging in the living room,” said Simeonie.

This was her first introduction to space science and she remembered a lot.

“I learned about the moon, space, Pluto and the sun. The coolest part was learning about Pluto. It’s away from the sun, so it’s cold. I also like the planet with the ring around it,” said Simeonie.

Walker is the co-principal investigator of the Eureka-based research project, funded by the Canadian Space Agency. She said working with the kids in Resolute has been a wonderful experience.

“It’s great to see we have made a difference and the excitement students have when they go home to tell their family what they learned that day,” she said.

Simeonie’s mom, Leena, agreed.

“She learned a lot quickly and she mentioned when she got home from school that they were making a spaceship,” she said. “I usually ask how was school, but I didn’t have to that day.”

The Grade 9-12 classes worked on climate change, the Grade 6-8 class studied climate change with an emphasis on light analysis, the Grade 5 kids did satellites in space, while the Grade 1-2 class did a weather workshop.