Chapter 3A: Whitehorse, Yukon

Wow, it seems so surreal now, but just last week I was in Whitehorse, Yukon. It’s a place that I never thought I’d get an opportunity to see and I’m still over the moon just thinking about it! We were stationed at F.H. Collins Secondary School where we had full days of presentations and exhibit walk-throughs.

group shot fh collins whitehorseAs always, it was amazing to see students interacting with the exhibit and inquiring about science. I had two memorable moments here:

 1) During the public event there was a girl who was mesmerized by the mystery tube and she kept at it for a long time. She could have spent the entire time there had it not been for her mother encouraging her to look at the other exhibits. I watched her problem solve using chalk to see if the ropes on one side were the same rope on the other side. She drew herself a legend to identify which chalk symbols corresponded with which rope and you could tell she was in this state of “flow”. It was as if nothing else mattered except this puzzle before her. She voiced to me how much she loved this exhibit and how it was so different from the traditional methods of education and wished that her school used these hands-on approaches. She was only 12 and hadn’t really even had a science class yet.

nick presentation whitehorse

2) While we were tearing down the exhibit, I had a teacher approach me and thank me for doing this tour. He told me that he had never seen his students so engaged in science, apparently they were still talking about our exhibit in class! Receiving that positive feedback and knowing that students were still talking about what they learned was great to hear, because that’s essentially our goal. We want students to keep the conversation going long after they leave our exhibit, to keep questioning and to be curious.

On top of our successful event, we were also able to explore Whitehorse and even participate in an annual festival, the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. As it turns out, I work alongside some talented scientists who are also musicians. To make our dreams of becoming touring musicians a reality, we formed a band called “Woodlove” and started writing our own songs. We continue to perform at any open mics we find on our journey across Canada.

Woodlove playing some tunes at the Battle of the Bands in Whitehorse, Yukon

Woodlove playing some tunes at the Battle of the Bands in Whitehorse, Yukon (Image by: Lauren S.)

People ride their bikes all year round here which made me smile. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to ride on some trails and reached some beautiful view points. Of course, a bike trip wouldn’t be any fun without company (Lauren) and occasional falls with a mountain bike.

Yes, we made it up the hill!

Yes, we made it up the hill! (Image by: Lauren S.)

 One of the highlights of this trip was seeing the northern lights in action. I didn’t think we would actually get a chance to see them, especially since we were unsuccessful on our first attempt. Thankfully, we all decided to stay up a bit later, endure the cold for a bit longer and go on an adventure to find these spectacular lights. It was worth it.

That's me up on the top of our vehicle attempting to take pictures of aurora borealis (Image by: Rebecca H.)

That’s me up on the top of our vehicle attempting to take pictures of aurora borealis (Image by: Rebecca H.)

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