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Students enjoy the activity "Analyzing your Moves" at SET Day 2024

SET Day welcomes 188 students from record-breaking 35 schools to UM research labs

Students from across Manitoba receive hands-on experience in science, engineering and technology

February 26, 2024 — 

On Wednesday February 21, 188 Manitoba high school students visited UM for Science Engineering and Technology (SET) Day, an opportunity for grade 11 and 12 students to gain hands-on research experiences in UM labs. SET Day is hosted by the Associate Vice-President (Partnerships, Knowledge Mobilization & Innovation), who were joined by more than 30 volunteers from UM and Let’s Talk Science.

A record 35 schools attended SET Day, including 14 rural schools with some traveling for more than seven hours to attend the program. Among them were students and teachers from Oscar Lathlin Collegiate in Opaskwayak Cree Nation.

“We are trying to create interest in science for our students, and the hands-on experiences at SET Day provided a unique opportunity to understand what a career in science is all about,” Thompson Okolu, High School Science and Math Teacher at Oscar Lathlin Collegiate, told UM Today.

In all, 13 UM research labs opened their doors to host hands-on experiences for SET Day including SERFing on Sea Ice at the Centre for Earth Observation Science, Wheels for Mars and Measuring with Lasers at the Price Faculty of Engineering, to name a few.

“We loved the laser workshop which demonstrated the use of modern laser equipment, along with various types of drones that civil engineers use in their field of work,” said Crystal Constant, Teacher and Career Guidance Counselor at Oscar Lathlin Collegiate.

Students and Teachers from Oscar Lathlin Collegiate take in the Measuring with Lasers activity at Price Faculty of Engineering

Students and Teachers from Oscar Lathlin Collegiate take in the Measuring with Lasers activity at Price Faculty of Engineering

“This type of information is what teachers and students take away from sessions like today, which can then be integrated into various curriculum subject outcomes that teachers can use with their students. Indigenous land-based teachings would tie in nicely with land and waterway management discussions and what possible planning can begin for the future our First Nation communities. Today’s experiences for Mr. Okolu and I will help influence high school subject scheduling and planning for our next school year,” Constant said.

Anessa Bighetty and Matt Monias, students from Oscar Lathlin, also commented about their excellent experiences. “It’s exciting being here, I’m really interested in science and now I want to get more into engineering,” said Anessa.

“Before coming I didn’t know too much about research, and this experience has been informative about how the university works. I feel inspired,” said Matt.

“This marked a wonderful return to in-person SET Day activities, which had been interrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Hans-Joachim Wieden, Associate Vice-President (Partnerships, Knowledge Mobilization & Innovation). “The overwhelming interest and engagement shown by students and teachers alike, demonstrates a bright future for science engineering and technology in Manitoba.”

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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