The Kivalliq Science Educators’ Community (KSEC) celebrated its 20th anniversary this past March at our regional science fair! The celebration was filled with added touches to the banquet, a raffle and shared memories from both past and present KSEC members! Here is what people had to say about their experiences with KSEC:

“The Kivalliq regional science fair definitely benefited my life. It was always such fun to get creative and design a project that was interesting to me. Whether it was silly projects like ‘Slower Than Molasses in January’ or ‘The Nose Knows.’ The projects were fun, but the best part was travelling, connecting and meeting with other youth who have now become lifetime friends. The energy, creativity and inquisitive minds of everyone helped shape my life to aspire to more. It is a wonderful thing to be able to come back to my home town of Rankin Inlet and help teach- with the intent to spark curiosity and excite my students while learning. Science is like magic! It also taught me a valuable lesson as a teacher that when your experiments or lessons don’t work- it’s all about improvising or trying something different until it does. Be bold! Be creative! Be curious!” Kelli McLarty – Rankin Inlet (2002-2004 Regional Science Fair Participant; 2005 CWSF Participant)

“Gosh, I went to science fairs a LONG time ago. Attending the regional science fair was my first experience to travel away from home without my parents. Attending science fairs helped broaden my mind about not only science, but also about other schools, students and my own abilities to showcase my research and hard work through my projects. Participation in science fairs helped broaden my perspective on science as well how science (and other disciplines) are integrated into the larger world around us.” Krista Zawadski-Rankin Inlet (Regional Science Fair Participant) 

“I had so much fun at science camp because of what I was learning. It was great to make new friends, and see new people. I had a lot of fun going to the Meadowbank Mine.” Simeoni Noolook-Rankin Inlet (2009 Regional Science Camp Participant)

“I’ve judged in at least two science fairs in Rankin, one local and one regional. It’s a great experience, very uplifting. You get to see what the students can do, and what is important to them, from understanding the effects of smoke on the human body to how to build a better qamutik, or even new approaches to ventilating arctic buildings, grading the efficiency of different materials for outdoor clothing, or comparing the bacterial content of different sources of drinking water. I particularly enjoyed being able to converse with the students and ask questions about their research. The team selected for judging is diverse and enthusiastic, and it’s a joy to work with the staff who put a lot of work into pulling these science fairs together.”Page Burt-Rankin Inlet (Local and Regional Science Fair Judge 2007-Present)

 “So what can I say about KSEC other than it shaped the way I teach and the way I remember Nunavut. I don’t think that a year passes that I don’t perform a demo I learned at one of the science fair evenings; from blowing lycopodium powder in funnels to setting off jugs of fire. Engineering challenges have also become a staple to collaborate with other teachers and to just have plain fun with students! What was special about KSEC was the community. The opportunities that the culture camps provided to be out on the land with the students were great! More often than not students were the teachers showing us the wonders of the Nuna. KSEC provided collaboration and support, and a special place where farting in a tent turned from laughter to contemplations into the merits of the human digestive system.I secretly still creep KSEC on the internet. When the organization won the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s award in 2010 I was surprisingly unsurprised. It was an award long overdue. A smile warmed over me as I thought about the number of faces that have gone by since my time, teachers and students alike, who have continued the hard work and have more than likely been shaped by the experiences. Hats off to all of you!”Jeremy Szczurko-Ontario (Past KSEC Member and Rankin Inlet Teacher)

“Over the years I have had the pleasure of serving as a judge at the science fair and on several occasions I have been asked to assist in the capacity as a special instructor in archaeology and geomorphology at our Thule site. I recall one such occasion. It was very cold, windy and wet. These youth were not happy to be trudging along the interpretive trail listening to me ramble on about bi-lobate tent rings and food caches. The students were far from comfortable and some were quite eager to return to the camp where warm cocoa and sandwiches were waiting. As we stood in the lee of the esker, eyes closed and imagining what it might have been like to live in such a harsh environment some seven hundred years ago they came to a special appreciation for the stamina and endurance of their forefathers.  It was wonderful to watch the youth come alive if only to suffer for that brief moment. It was an acknowledgement of one element of who they truly are and a peek into an important part of their heritage. Now that was a real learning experience and one of those rare teaching moments. Wow!! Science is so exciting!”Alan Everard-Rankin Inlet (Past Science Fair Judge and Guest Speaker)

 “In 2004 I won 3rd place in the Kivalliq science fair which was in Chesterfield Inlet. I went to St. John’s NFLD with 3 students from Chesterfield. There were many activities to do and many places to see. We learned so many new things from other exhibitors. We had so much fun. I made new friends. I also won a bronze medal along with a few other students out of close to 300 exhibitors.”Carol Nanordluk-Repulse Bay (Grade 1 Teacher, Tusarvik School) 

“I’ve learned a lot of things from science fair and science camp. The most I remember was going out on the land for the day and learning how to navigate on a GPS. All the people and all the teachers were always kind, caring and funny. By going for science camp and science fair it made me more comfortable around people I never met before.”Georgina Putulik-Repulse Bay (Substitute Teacher, Tusarvik School)

 “I went to Baker Lake for KSEC the first time and my project was “Inside Out Computers”. The second time I went to Rankin Inlet and my project was “Avalanche”. The most memorable part was when we were doing ice breakers during some sessions about trust. We each had to throw the yarn at anybody and someone had to get on top of the yarn. The third time was here in Repulse Bay. It was a lot of fun.”Jessica Tinashlu-Repulse Bay (School Secretary, Tusarvik School)