X-Chem Outreach - School Visits and Workshops

Between the months of May and June 2017, X-Chem Outreach was able to reach around 3000 young people through workshops offered to grades Primary to Twelve in northeastern and central Nova Scotia, including both the Chignecto Regional and Strait Regional school boards. The workshops reached six different counties of Nova Scotia.

If you are a community group or a school class and you would like to participate in this program, please contact us. The best time is April to June, but other times may be able to be arranged. The workshops can be held on or off campus. These are typically around an hour in length, and include demonstrations and hands-on activities, with age-appropriate explanations.

There is no fee. This part of our program is funded by  Actua, and we are very grateful for their support.

We can offer a variety of presentations in chemistry and science and coding. We have the following suggestions to choose from:

Visits can be scheduled for May 15, 2018, on. Please use xchem@stfx.ca .

We have the following workshops to choose from:

  • Magic (Suggested grade level: Primary) - Exploring the wonders of chemistry.
  • Water (Suggested grade level: 1) - Looking at the nature of water through a series of fun demonstrations and hands on experiments.
  • Forestry (Suggested grade level: 2) - Forests are very important to the character of Atlantic Canada. This presentation will explore the different types of trees in Nova Scotia, as well as talk about the importance of the forestry industry and recycling.
  • Bones (Suggested grade level: 3) - With the help of a full skeleton, X-Chem will explore the types of bones in the body as well as their properties. This presentation includes a hands on activity about animal bones. 
  • Food Science (Suggested grade level: 4) - Eating healthy is an important concept for children to learn at an early age. This presentation deals with the building blocks of food, such as calories, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. This presentation also includes testing food for fat, sugar, and starch. 
  • Codemakers - We will discuss grade appropriate ideas based on programming, binary numbers, pixels, electronics and/or computer science and do some activities to reinforce these ideas.  Hands-on activities with Makey makey kits and Ozbots and Edbots and Little Bits kits are available. We can bring lap tops if required.
  • Phase Changes (Suggested grade level: 5) - Many children are familiar with the three phases of water, however not many are familiar with the strange and interesting properties of other materials. Students will be engaged in activities that explore the strange and interesting properties of other materials. 
  • Metals (Suggested grade level: 6) - Metals are everywhere! This presentation will guide students through their existing knowledge of common metals and lead them into the exciting and weird world of metals. Topics include: memory metal, mining processes, metals for health, and more! 
  • Polymers (Suggested grade level: 7) - Polymers are extraordinary molecules. It is hard to think what we would do without them! In this presentation students will explore the properties of polymers through a series of engaging demonstrations and hands on experiments. 
  • Engineering (Suggested grade level: 8) - Engineers are the built environments problem solvers. This presentation will turn the classroom into multiple engineering firms as students compete to solve a problem as engineers. 
  • Acids and Bases, Electrochemistry (Suggested grade level: 9-12)

We would be happy to discuss the activities with the teacher – especially for the high school classes, so we don’t repeat anything that may have been already done in class.

 This part of our program is funded by HRSDC and Actua*, and we are very grateful for their support. In particular, funding for the Codemaker workshops and segments of workshops are supported by Google via Actua.

There leaders  involved in 2017:

  • Erin Aucoin has completed a BSc in Physics and Engineering
  • Callie Cameron  has completed three years of a BSc in Chemistry
  • Hana Marmura has completed two years of a BSc in Human Kinetics
  • Trevor Gallant has completed three years of a business degree
  • Denise Webb has completed three years of a degree in Human Nutrition
  • Connor Simon has completed three years of a BSc in Chemistry

If  have any questions, please contact us  at xchem@stfx.ca or contact Dr. Truis Smith-Palmer.