04 May 2015
Scientific Research Assistance
How to Introduce Fifth Graders to Science and Engineering?
For more than 15 years, students from Montreal’s École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS) have spent 18 mornings per year introducing fifth graders students from De la Petite-Bourgogne School to science and engineering. The idea is to encourage kids to stay in school!
On April 27, 2015, fifth graders from De la Petite-Bourgogne School took part in the Découverte project’s EXPO-SCIENCE event, which took place at ÉTS’ B Hall. They enthusiastically displayed their booths, which covered 10 topics related to engineering, including:
- Construction engineering through (paper) bridge design and (marshmallow) towers;
- Electrical engineering through robotic programming (of toys) and concepts relating to domestic and static electricity;
- Environmental engineering through an introductory session on environmental protection that involved making environmentally friendly soap;
- Health technology through DNA discoveries;
- Innovation management through ideation and technological innovation processes (facilitated by DécliQ).
Their projects even covered how engineers can gain the skills they’ll need in the future, such as how to communicate effectively on the radio or make science concepts easy for general audiences to understand.
The Découverte program is organized by ÉTS’s Student Services (SAÉ in French). Pairing university and elementary school students has a twofold advantage, because it:
- Supports kids and encourages them with their studies;
- Allows ÉTS students to get involved in the community through a project to help local kids stay in school.
Some 40 students (two Grade 5 classes) came to ÉTS over nine Tuesdays during the 2014 fall session and another nine Tuesdays during the 2015 winter session. They created designs, ran experiments and familiarized themselves with science and engineering through 10 workshops and science projects led by ÉTS students.
What are the benefits of all these projects? Martin Minville, Student Services Advisor, gave us an example: During the topic on domestic electricity, the children learned to identify parallel and series circuits. With these new skills, children were able to describe to their parents what types of circuits were feeding the basement and the ground floor of their residence.
Held Barbosa De Souza
Held Barbosa de Souza is a librarian at ÉTS. She holds a master’s degree in Information Sciences from Université de Montréal, and the subject of her thesis was about the contribution of postdoctoral fellows to the advancement of knowledge.
Félix Langevin Harnois is a librarian at ÉTS and holds a master’s degree in Information Sciences from Université de Montréal. He is part of the Paper Writing Help Service’s team (SARA) and supervises events and services that are offered.