Many families are learning at home this year, including ours, and we’re all looking for ways to provide fun and creative learning opportunities.
I want to tell you about the Canadian Association for Girls in Science and how they’re making STEM education available to girls all across Canada. CAGIS is an award-winning club for girls aged 7 to 16 that supports their interest in Science, Technology, Trades, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
As a mom of two girls, I love that CAGIS provides girls with a dedicated space to explore their interests and learn in their own way without the pressure of gender stereotypes. Research on gender differences shows that girls benefit from having women mentors. When girls see women in science, they’re more likely to follow their interest in entering those fields.
Local CAGIS chapters in BC, Ontario, and Nova Scotia meet monthly to explore STEM together with fun, hands-on activities led by experts in a variety of STEM fields. These monthly events often occur at the work places of STEM experts, giving girls a behind-the-scenes view and allowing them to experience the lab and field environment for themselves.
But right now, we’ve rightfully moved to a focus on virtual learning, and CAGIS has adapted to meet that need. CAGIS Virtual is a new program that brings STEM education safely into your home every week, no matter where you live, with live online sessions led by real experts.
Girls explore a new topic each week with fun virtual and hands-on activities led by real experts and a certified teacher. Each session includes an introduction to the topic, a hands-on or virtual activity, and time for questions at the end. Families can choose to either get a year-long membership ($200) for unlimited access to all sessions, or sign up for individual sessions at $16 each.
Wondering what kind of topics you can expect? Past sessions have included:
- Food engineering and making ice cream at home
- Coding a script to calculate how old you would be on Mars
- DNA and crossing fruit flies in a virtual lab
- Chemistry and growing crystals at home
- Engineering and building a catapult
- Plant biology and germinating seeds
Last week, CAGIS members had a unique opportunity to meet and ask questions from Canadian icon Dr. Anne Innis Dagg, the world’s first giraffologist and a trailbreaking woman in science.
In another recent CAGIS session, my daughters made glow-in-the-dark slime as part of a lesson with Dr. Erin McConnell about the chemistry of phosphorescence and all things glow-in-the-dark. They learned about phosphors, substances that absorb energy from the sun or another light like a battery, and then radiate that energy back as light.
The girls loved it! They had a ton of fun and are looking forward to upcoming sessions on planetary science, coding in Python, and cosmetic chemistry where they’ll get to test the soaps and shampoos in our house. I heard there’s another one coming up about the science of chocolate, and you know we’re all over that one!
A CAGIS Virtual membership makes a wonderful gift any time, but especially this year. It’s a gift that keeps giving all year long, and if you’re a little behind on your holiday shopping this year, it’s perfect for last minute gift-giving!
Win a CAGIS Virtual Membership
Calling all parents and grandparents of girls! CAGIS has generously offered to provide one lucky family a one-year virtual membership. Enter in the giveaway widget below. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, 18+. All the winner’s entries will be verified. Prize delivery is not guaranteed by Christmas, so please plan accordingly.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation. Nevertheless, all opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.