Tag Archives: Science

Guest Blog

Getting Girls Energized about Science and Engineering

By Cheryl Cottrill
Executive Director
WiN-Canada

WiN-Canada (Women in Nuclear) hosted Camp GEMS (Girls in Engineering Math and Science) for two full day March Break camps last week at the Bruce Power Visitors’ Centre.  The sessions are meant to provide a fun, hands-on experience, using science, math and engineering principles, with a female mentor who has been successful in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers.  It’s done to awaken a life-long passion for science and ignite scientific curiosity, so campers will ask intelligent questions around issues like climate change and energy options, and possibly go on to study STEM subjects post-secondary.  In Canada, only an estimated 21% of students enrolled in applied science and engineering are women.

Day one’s theme, All in a Bug’s Life, centered on insects and taught the 25 girls attending about different types and characteristics of insects. They learned about the two types of metamorphosis, a process of dramatic change in a body form during a lifespan, which can be complete or incomplete.  Day two’s theme, Enzymes – Step on it! took the girls through two experiments: Jello Meets Pineapple, to see how the pineapple, acting as an enzyme on the jello substrate, changed the ability of the jello to set and an experiment using controlled quantities of raw potatoes immersed in hydrogen peroxide to initiate a chemical reaction.

These events are hosted by Women in Nuclear and have become well known and supported in the community. This energizing and welcomed approach to engaging young women into science, technology, engineering and math is creating a pathway for their future endeavours, and should help to bring more young Canadians into the excellent careers offered by our nuclear industries.

Nuclear Education Nuclear Outreach

Canada Wins Guiness World Record for Largest Science Lesson

We did it, Canada! On October 12, 2012, to kick off National Science & Technology Week, participants across the country got together at multiple locations to go out for the Guiness World Record for the largest practical science lesson.

TalkNUclear participated with the students at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), one of Canada’s fastest-growing universities, by a group of 46 students all from the highly regarded Nuclear Engineering program.

Read about the science lession at UOIT here: National S&T Week Kicks Off With A Record Breaking Science Lesson

NSTW_ScienceLessonRecord

The largest practical science lesson at multiple venues involved 13,701 participants and was achieved by Science.gc.ca (Canada) at 88 locations across Canada, on 12 October 2012.

All lessons began at 1 pm EST and included 2 experiments which demonstrated Bernoulli’s Principle on air pressure.

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/2000/largest-practical-science-lesson-%28multiple-venues%29

Nuclear Education Nuclear R&D

National S&T Week Kicks Off With A Record Breaking Science Lesson

This year, to kick off National Science and Technology Week, Canada decided to do something special. By organizing a science experiment to be conducted simultaneously across over 135 locations nationwide, and involving well over 3,000 participants, we collectively submitted an attempt to the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest science experiment ever conducted! Final numbers of participants will be available in a few weeks to verify that the record was set.

National Science and Technology Week spans October 12 – 21, 2012, and the record-setting experiment took place at precisely 1:00pm EST on opening day. This special week raises awareness of the importance of science and technology in our daily lives, and celebrates Canada’s historic and ongoing role as a leader in technological innovation.

Here at the Canadian Nuclear Association, we are proud to celebrate this week. Canada is one of the world’s nuclear pioneers, and continues to find success with advancements of its historically innovative CANDU reactor technology. In addition to producing approximately 15% of national electricity supply, CANDU reactors are also used internationally in six other countries.

Canada is also a chief innovator in nuclear medicine technology, having given birth to the use of Cobalt-60 as a powerful isotope in radiation therapy, as well as producing between 20-30% of the world’s supply of medical isotopes used for treatment and diagnostic imaging in almost 60 countries.

The record-setting experiment was performed at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), one of Canada’s fastest-growing universities, by a group of 46 students all from the highly regarded Nuclear Engineering program. These students represent the bright, young generation upcoming in Canada’s vibrant nuclear industry, and their enthusiasm is what made this event possible. In fact, of all the venues involved in this nationwide experiment, almost all were educational facilities!

As we await the announcement on the success of the experiment, we continue to recognize the importance of investment in science and technology to drive our industries forward. Through continued investment in nuclear technology, Canada is empowered to stay on the cutting edge of nuclear innovation, and produce advances towards benefiting the health, safety, and livelihood of Canadians and people around the world.

About the Science Lesson

Across Canada, participants conducted experiments that explored the Bernoulli principle which states that as a constant volume of fluid (or air) increases in speed, it experiences a corresponding decrease in pressure. This is the principle responsible for how airplane wings work, as the curvature of the wing creates a pressure difference between the air above and below it, resulting in motion in the direction of lower pressure and less resistance – up.

In the case of the experiments, the principle was demonstrated by blowing through a straw in a glass of water and between two balloons.

 UOIT’s Nuclear Engineering Training Ground

The UOIT Radiation Detection Laboratory is home to several specialized detectors for teaching students how to measure different types of radiation.

Graduate students travel from around the world to practice and be tested on UOIT’s brand new CANDU reactor simulator.

This general purpose laboratory features impressive and powerful equipment, such as the X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer pictured on the left-side desk.

Nuclear News Nuclear R&D

Journal Launch: AECL Nuclear Review

TalkNUclear is pleased to share the news that AECL has just launched AECL Nuclear Review, Canada’s newest journal for nuclear science and technology.

AECL Nuclear Review - Vol. 1, No. 1 June 2012

AECL Nuclear Review showcases innovative and important nuclear science and technology that is aligned with AECL’s core programs. The Journal welcomes original/novel articles and technical notes in a variety of subject areas: CANDU Nuclear Industry; Nuclear Safeguards and Security; Clean Safe Energy including Gen IV, Hydrogen Technology, Small Reactors, Fusion, Sustainable Energy and Advanced Materials; Health, Isotopes and Radiation; and Environmental Sciences. The accepted peer reviewed articles are expected to span different disciplines such as engineering, chemistry, physics, and biology.

AECL Nuclear Review welcomes Canadian and international research scholars and scientists from different disciplines to its new publication which reflects the integration of scientific researchers and industrial practitioners.

If you would like to submit an article for consideration, or, wish to reach any member of the editorial team, please get in touch:
JANL@aecl.ca or 1-800-364-6989 (Corporate Communications)

Click to download the first issue of AECL Nuclear Review (8MB)

Nuclear Education Nuclear Energy

How to Earn Your Science and Technology Badge

Cub Scouts from one of Ottawa’s oldest Pack’s – the Ottawa 24th Pack – participated in a sleepover at the Canada Science and Technology Museum last weekend, with support from the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA). “When I heard that the Pack would be doing badge work with a focus on Canadian science and technology innovation, I was pleased to offer member support,” said CNA President & CEO Denise Carpenter.

Heather Kleb, the CNA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs and a Pack leader and parent, explained that the program was intended to review the importance of technology in Canadian living, including advances such as Canada’s first satellite (Alouette) and the Canadarm.  And of course no trip to the Science and Technology Museum would be complete without a visit to the Energy: Power to Choose exhibit to see ZEEP (the Zero Energy Experimental Pile Reactor).

Cub Scouts in front of ZEEP

The Cubs were surprized to learn about the important role that Canadian scientists played in galvanizing the nuclear industry in Canada and around the world.  They commented that ZEEP “looks kind of like a really cool spaceship.”  They also had a number of questions, such as:  “what can radiation do to you” and “can it really give you super powers” (a Spider-man reference maybe).

Heather said that “a fun time was definitely had by all” and “we want to extend our sincere thanks to the CNA and its members for making it possible for our Pack to participate in this.”

Zero Energy Experimental Pile (ZEEP) Reactor

Learn more about ZEEP at TeachNUclear.ca – the CNA’s curriculum website.

As the nuclear industry continues to play an increasingly important role in the daily lives of Canadians, sustaining a robust education, science and technology program is a priority. Nuclear S&T initiatives foster excellence in science, technology, manufacturing, energy and medicine. They contribute significantly to developing highly qualified personnel for the nuclear and non-nuclear sectors.

Messages Nuclear News

Canada’s Nuclear Industry Welcomes Modernized Regulatory System and Innovation Investments

March 29, 2012, OTTAWA - The Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) today welcomed the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012, “Jobs, Growth, and Long-Term Prosperity,” and key measures to create a modern regulatory system that will also contribute to improved environmental performance for Canada’s energy and mining projects.

“Regulatory modernization is a priority for our industry as it provides a competitive advantage for Canada,” said Denise Carpenter, President and CEO. “We are optimistic these proposed changes will increase efficiency and effectiveness of the regulatory process, and we look forward to working with the federal government to implement changes swiftly to enhance job creation and economic growth in Canada.”

The CNA serves approximately 100 member companies, representing 70,000 people employed in the production and advancement of nuclear medicine, uranium mining and exploration, fuel processing, and electricity generation.

“Our members support a regulatory process that establishes clear timelines, reduces duplication and burdens, and focuses resources on large projects where potential environmental impacts are the greatest,” added Carpenter, “We appreciate the focus on what matters to the environment.”

The CNA also applauded Innovation investments contained in Economic Action Plan 2012, such as the implementation of a Jenkins Panel recommendation to refocus the National Research Council (NRC) to improve its responsiveness to Canada’s business sector.

“Canada’s home-grown nuclear technologies connect the energy, medicine, manufacturing, advanced materials, and academic sectors with many other value-added industries, and the NRC is an important part of that innovation system,” said Carpenter. “Our industry believes there is great value to having strong public support for S&T that is responsive to the needs of industry.”

The Canadian nuclear industry provides a broad spectrum of products and services that benefit Canadians, generating approximately $6.6 billion per year and contributing $1.5 billion in tax revenue and $1.2 billion in export revenues.

Please visit www.cna.ca to follow CNA’s Blog, Twitter, and Facebook, and join in the “TalkNUclear” conversation.

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Background Information:

The CNA discussed this issue in the September 2011 “Innovation Issue” of Policy Options magazine:  http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/sep11/stewart.pdf

The CNA issued the following new release on March 14, 2012 to encourage the Government of Canada to fully consider the recommendations on the federal Environmental Assessment (EA) process made by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development: http://www.cna.ca/english/news_events/Mar14-2012-CNA-press-release.html