Tag Archives: Education

Guest Blog

Getting Girls Energized about Science and Engineering

By Cheryl Cottrill
Executive Director

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


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.


Nuclear Education

2013 Canadian Nuclear Society Scholarship

cnsThe Canadian Nuclear Society is pleased to offer a scholarship to promote excellence in nuclear science and engineering in Canadian universities.

This scholarship is intended to supplement the salary of a full-time PhD student entering his/her second or third year of graduate studies in nuclear science and engineering at a Canadian University.

The scholarship amounts to $5,000 per year for two years. Two scholarships may be awarded in 2013.

Download the PDF for more details: Notice2013 Graduate Scholarship

CNA2012 Nuclear Education Nuclear Outreach

Send Your Questions for CNA2012 Panel – Innovative Methods of Communicating Science

Ever wonder about all the misinformation circulating about nuclear technology – especially in the last year or so? It’s one thing to know the science behind nuclear technology but knowing how to communicate that knowledge to the general public is another thing entirely. So, how do you get it right?

At this year’s CNA Conference and Trade Show, we have three experts ready and waiting for your questions on what it takes to deliver a “science-y” message in an accurate and intelligible way.

What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve faced in trying to explain the complex nature of all things nuclear related or science-based? Interested in trips and tricks from our experts? Have a burning question to ask?

We’ll ask your question of our panelists at the 2012 CNA Conference and Trade Show on February 23rd during the panel on Innovative Methods of Communicating Science.

Three ways to send in your questions:

  1. Leave a comment on this post
  2. Post your question on our TalkNUclear Facebook page
  3. Tweet at @TalkNUclear using the #CNASciComm hashtag.

Can’t attend but curious? Follow the panel #hashtag on Twitter – #CNASciComm

Learn more about our moderator and panelists:

Moderator – Jay Ingram


Jay Ingram is a popular science broadcaster and the co‐host of Discovery Channel’s science show, Daily Planet. He has written nine books, three of which have won Canadian Science Writers’ Awards.


Panelist: Susan Brissette

Susan Brissette who has held a variety of senior communication, change leadership and nuclear oversight positions throughout her 20 year career. She is currently responsible for the Bruce Power Management System including Change Management, Quality Assurance, Corporate Assessment and Benchmarking processes. A Canadian, Ms. Brissette began her career in the nuclear industry in the UK in 1992, and returned to Canada in the late 1990s as part of the team that created Bruce Power where she was accountable for reputation management.

Ms. Brissette is an Executive Board member of Women in Nuclear Global and Chair of their Communications Committee. She chaired the Organizing Committee for the highly successful 14th Annual WiN-Global Conference hosted by Canada in late May 2006, which saw some 350 delegates from almost 40 countries come together to showcase the nuclear industry in a unique way – by highlighting the women who are making a unique contribution to the leadership and advancement of nuclear and radiation technologies around the world.

Panelist – Ted Hartwell

Ted Hartwell is the Program Manager for Desert Research Institute’s Community Environmental Monitoring Program, a program that directly involves members of the public in the operation of a network of radiation and weather monitoring stations located in communities surrounding and downwind of the Nevada National Security Site. He is presently serving as Deputy Director of the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences.

Mr. Hartwell’s archaeological research has focused on three geographic regions: the southern Great Basin, the southern Great Plains, and the pampas of Argentina. Specific interests include hunter-gatherer lithic technology, caching behavior, quarrying behavior, and soil formation processes.

Mr.Hartwell has recently studied how popular culture can affect the public perception of science, most recently speaking as an invited participant at a workshop on “Comet and Asteroid Impacts and Human Society”. He also has produced a publication for the general public that discusses archaeological research at Yucca Mountain on the Nevada National Security Site.

Panelist – Toby Heaps


Toby Heaps is the co-founder and president of Corporate Knights Inc. the magazine for clean capitalism.  Their mission is to humanize the marketplace, making it easier for people to know the environmental and social impacts of their marketplace decisions and to showcase leaders and innovators.  Before founding Corporate Knights, Toby was the managing editor of the Mutual Fund Review magazine and Planning for Profits magazine.   He worked for Conflict Resolution Catalysts in Bosnia, and for several international publications and social organizations in the former Yugoslavia including B-92 in Belgrade.  He has written for the Financial Times, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and Investors Digest.

Mr. Heaps has experience working on political campaigns, including in 2006 as campaign manager for City of Toronto Councillor Adrian Heaps.  On a side note, in 1998, Mr. Heaps played centre field for Yugoslavia’s National Baseball Team.

Nuclear Education Nuclear Outreach

Deep River Science Academy – A Summer Program for Future Scientists

Are you a high school student between the ages of 15 and 17 with a love of science? Then The Deep River Science Academy (DRSA) might be for you! It’s a summer school program that provides experiential learning in the areas of chemistry, physics, biology and math. You get to do real research and get academic, personal and professional credit for it.

The deadline to apply is March 31, 2012 BUT the early-bird deadline for a reduced tuition is January 14, 2012 – this Saturday! Here is the info about the program, and check out their website for more information.

What? / How?
The Deep River Science Academy (DRSA) is a science summer program for high school students between 15 and 17 years old.

The program is not for the faint of heart – it’s an intensive six weeks of chemistry, physics, biology and math. You pick your subject area and we’ll put you in the laboratory or in the field. Do you enjoy chemistry? We’ll put in a lab. Would you prefer to work outside? Then we’ll put you in the field (aka swamp or forest – depending on the research project).
Afraid you won’t know the answers to the research? Don’t worry – neither do we! This is what makes our program and your experience unique. So unique in fact, there is no other program like it in Canada. You become part of a real research team. You will not be placed in a classroom, with books and a teacher lecturing you. You are placed with another student under the guidance of a Research Assistant/Tutor (RA/T) and a professional scientist. YOU are EXPECTED to do the work – it’s called experiential learning. You learn by doing. And we expect a lot.

What does “a real research team” mean? We get our projects from professional scientists, engineers, biologists and technicians who spend months and years on a research project. To encourage you to become a scientist, you get the opportunity to help that scientist on one small portion of his/her work. When our scientists conclude their projects and publish their results, the students who worked on that project get credit. It’s called being published, and it has happened to a few our students.

For 6 weeks each summer: July 1 – August 11, 2012

Deep River, Ontario. WHERE?!? Deep River is about a 2 hour drive west of Ottawa, Ontario. We are located between North Bay and Ottawa above Algonquin Park. Google us.

The DRSA wants to increase interest in careers in science and technology in Canada’s youth. We’ve figured out a way to do that – we give youth a chance to be a scientist for 6 weeks each summer. We’ve been doing it since 1987, and it works! Why does it work? We let high school students work in professional research laboratories on some pretty high tech equipment. We make science come alive, more than what students get in high school. We treat our students with respect. And we give student credit for their work: academic credit, personal credit, and professional credit.

Apply for the 2012 program NOW!

Applications will be accepted from October 1, 2011 until March 31, 2012. The tuition for 2012 is $5,100; but, apply by January 14th, 2012 and you will be eligible for our early bird discount which reduces your tuition cost to $4,700! http://www.drsa.ca/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/2012-Student-application-form11c.pdf

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the DRSA via email at info@drsa.ca, or by phone, 613-584-4541

CNA Responds Messages

Natural Resource Projects will Require More than $500-Billion from Government

This letter from our President, Denise Carpenter, appeared in The Hill Times today in response to this article in the Hill Times Resources Policy Briefing on December 5. Canada’s energy and natural resources infrastructure need government investment and streamlined regulatory frameworks and would benefit greatly from enhanced collaboration between government and industry.


The Canadian Nuclear Association was among the industry associations that appeared before the House of Commons Environment Committee recently to advocate for changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) (“NRCan anticipates $500 billion in new investments in natural resources projects,” December 5).

In fact, we made a number of suggestions that the nuclear industry believes would make environmental assessments:

  • More efficient – by conducting EAs according to the principle of “one project, one assessment, by the best-placed regulator”;
  • More effective – by strengthening the precedent value of EAs;
  • Proportionate to the environmental risk – avoiding reassessment of risks that have already been addressed;
  • More aligned with permitting and authorization decisions; and
  • More timely.

As vital as improving the regulatory framework may be, an anticipated $500 billion in natural resource projects will require much more than this from Canadian governments.

Your article rightly quoted the petroleum industry on the need for pipeline expansion.  But realizing all of these energy and natural resource developments will depend on a range of goods and services that will not be adequately supplied by business alone, and are fertile ground for public-private collaboration:

  • Education and human resource development:  public schooling and an academic sector that build the skills employers need.
  • Science and technology infrastructure:  laboratory facilities, equipment, instrumentation and expertise that can be invested in, and accessed, by business, government and universities.
  • Transport infrastructure:  the capacity to move supplies, energy, people and products efficiently within Canada and across our borders.

Senators Angus and Mitchell made related points in the same issue (“Energy, Environment:  We Need a National Discussion”).  Government can enable hundreds of billions in development, not just by regulating well, but also by working together with industry to build the human, technological and transport infrastructure required.


Denise Carpenter
Canadian Nuclear Association