Indigenous Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (inSTEM) provided a grant to the EYES (Educating Youth in Engineering & Science) program to six indigenous reserves in Saskatchewan this summer and White Bear First Nation was one of those.
The EYES camp was held at the Post Secondary building on the White Bear First Nation from August 12 – 16 and over 36 children from grades 1 to 10 attended. The children were exposed to engineering, chemistry, biology and physics throughout the week. They took part in the designing of a Haz Mat (hazardous materials) suit; building Ozobots and creating mazes for them to travel through; colour changing chemical reactions; pyro-technology and virtual reality. During the Virtual Reality segment, they explored volcanos, went under the sea to check out sharks, looked at space, toured African communities and watched safari animals. They were given the opportunity to dissect Leopard Frogs, where they learned that a frog has three chambers in its heart and that a frog literally cannot swallow without closing its eyes. It must retract the eyeballs in order to create enough room to swallow its food. They found abdomens full of eggs, stomachs with bugs still inside and so many more things to excite their minds. During the Chemistry part of the camp, half empty pop bottles became rockets that shot high into the air when butane was added to them, and they were turned over after removing the lids. Dish soap in water became bubbles infused with butane that burst into flames as the children looked on in amazement. The grand finale was executed by Tom Duffy and Kevina Mullock as they turned into fire breathing humans. 16-year-old Zacairah Shepherd said that attending EYES camp has opened her up to so many new possibilities to explore before making a decision on what her future holds for her education. MacKenzie Chittenden is one of the 5 University of Regina Students who worked at the camp this summer. She is in her third year of five at the University of Regina. MacKenzie was actually working on a science actuarial degree but since working in the EYES Camps has decided she wants to teach science and math in secondary schools, so she is pursuing both degrees. Her co-worker, Kevina Mullock, is pursuing her masters in Microbiology and Psychology with a goal to become a scientist working on climate change solutions.