Science World Programs Come to Prince George
Prince George, B.C. – The CEOs of Science World and The Exploration Place have signed a memorandum of understanding on developing an expanded partnership which will result in Science World programming being offered in northern BC.
Science World’s Bryan Tisdale and Tracy Calogheros of The Exploration Place were on hand for the formal signing today. This is the first such Community Based Science Programming partnership entered into by Science World and so, is a ground breaker for Exploration Place. Tisdale says discussions are ongoing in an effort to reach similar agreements in Abbotsford and Nanaimo.
Regarding these partnerships Tisdale says “Science World has a provincial mandate and up to this time the way that we’ve served residents outside of the lower mainland is by either having some of our staff go out or maybe linking with some scientists in those communities. But it seems much more effective if we partner with local organizations who have local knowledge.”
“They know the science and technology that’s important to the community, they have good reputations in the community, and if we can use our resources to somehow support efforts in those communities it will be a much more effective and probably more efficient way to serve communities.”
“In this case, in Prince George, we’re beginning our partnership with all of the school programs, so the school programs related to the curriculum in British Columbia which we’ve developed at Science World will be delivered to this community by the team here at Exploration Place.”
“We believe that learning happens most effectively when you’re engaged, when it’s hands-on, when you can actually do something in an interactive, involving way. At Science World we’ve developed a number of programs, like building machines, building bridges, which illustrate various elements of science and technology and which are very closely linked to the school curriculum.”
“It’s quite an investment to develop all that programming, we’ve already got it developed. So doesn’t it make much more sense to provide that material to the folks here and to provide them with some training? So members of the Exploration Place team have been down in Vancouver, we’ve done some training with them and they now have those school programs that we’ve developed and school classes in the communities around Prince George will now have the opportunity to experience those programs.”
Tisdale says “clearly we share with Exploration Place the belief that the future of the province is very closely tied with Science and Technology, and all of our lives would be richer if we could turn on the community young and old to the richness of science.”
Tracy Calogheros says “the Science World memorandum of understanding is going to allow us access to all of the expertise that Science World has been developing for how ever many years they’ve been in business. And it will allow us to offer their programming here in Prince George and the surrounding area under the Science World brand.”
“Really what it does it take my organization with its thirty staff and gives us access to a research and development team of fourty people that are doing this work and testing it out every day. It’s a huge saving for us, and it totally ups our game in terms of the level of science education that we’re going to be able to offer.”
She says she will continue to send her people down to Vancouver to do the training at Science World and they will bring that knowledge back to Prince and area for dispersal to inquisitive minds.
She adds “It’s certainly no exchange of cash. This training that Science World is doing for us, they could certainly charge for it but part of that partnership is that they’re providing that to us. So the only expense to Exploration Place are the normal staff costs to send somebody out of town for a couple of weeks. You’re paying per diems and covering flights and hotel.”
As far as getting this program delivery on-stream, she says “the goal now is to be advertising to teachers in February and hopefully starting to take bookings for the first of the Science World programs here in Prince George for April, May, June. The very latest would be (next) September but my goal is to have it operating in time to be able to hit our really busy school program season this spring.”
She also says “we have a regional mandate through the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, so we do programming in the outlying communities, primarily Mackenzie, McBride and Valemount. The goal would be to likely offer it next fall, but absolutely we want to be able to take these programs on the road where it’s possible.”