Ready to dive into the world of science? Great! Here’s everything you need to get started.
Step 1 – Choose Your Projects
Everyone will participate in a total of six project sessions. You will be able to prioritize four projects from the following list. We will do our best to accommodate all 4 choices. The remaining 2 projects will be randomly selected for you.
1. DNA Fingerprinting
A crime was committed in the ’70s and circumstantial evidence presented at the trial was instrumental in the sentencing of the accused to life in prison. The convicted declares his innocence. After 30 years in prison, key evidence left behind at the scene holds the clue to determining the innocence of the accused. Students will generate a genetic profile of themselves and the victim using actual forensic techniques and in the end, who knows, you may even solve a crime!
2. “The world’s your oyster!” – Building and Ecosystem
The resilience of the Earth’s ecosystems and the services they provide for humanity (e.g. clean water, fertile soil, food, etc.) are of great concern due to threats from a barrage of anthropogenic influences (e.g. pollution, over-exploitation, climate change, etc.). Building an artificial ecosystem or microcosm allow scientists to study how an ecosystem will respond to stressors in a controlled manner. Students enrolled in this new Scientifically Yours ecology project, will get the opportunity to build their own closed ecosystems. Students will learn about the “major players” in a basic saltwater ecosystem and make decisions regarding the initial set-up to impose or lessen eventual stressors on their ecosystems. The key here is to build the most sustainable ecosystem!
3. Crazy Cricket Neuron Networks
Ever wonder why flies, spiders, crickets and other insects are so hard to catch? One reason is that insects are very highly sensitive to changes in their environment. Insects like crickets can perceive sound and air currents better than we can and move out of the way of your hand (or a flyswatter) long before they have seen something approaching them. A key component of this ability is how information is encoded and processed in the central nervous system (ie: the brain) of the insect. This project will examine the anatomy and physiology of a cricket’s sensory and nervous system and look to see how changes in the environment all play a role in how information is encoded. Participants will have an opportunity to see the neuronal activity of a living cricket and see how that activity changes in response to changes in air currents, sound stimuli and temperature. You will also be able to record this activity through your smartphone (android and iPhone) to analyze and take home with you.
Oenology and Viticulture
4. Tasting and Testing
Why are juice and pop so delicious? It’s the balance between the sugar and the acid. Join researchers from Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) in an exploration of what makes these drinks so tasty. We will do some blind taste tests in our sensory evaluation laboratory using specialize software called Compusense® and then we will move to the chemistry lab to analyse the samples we just tasted to see how much sugar and acid they have. When we compare these data, we’ll know which chemical composition tastes best!
5. Health and Human Performance
Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Canada? To keep your heart smart, this workshop will demonstrate the importance of healthy blood pressure values, how to perform an ECG, and how to measure the pressure in an artery using state-of-the-art equipment. In addition to a healthy heart, strong bones are important to the prevention of osteoporosis. This session will demonstrate techniques to measure bone and discuss important factors influencing bone health. Discover how muscle activation is measured and how the external environment (i.e. cold temperatures) can affect human performance. Lastly, students will be introduced to a maximum oxygen consumption test, performed by university athletes, using top of the line exercise physiology equipment.
6. Blood Typing
“Are you ready to solve a crime and save a life?” Do you know what a blood group is? Have you ever wondered what it means when the doctor in your favourite TV show says “we need a B-positive donor”? What does “B-positive” even stand for? How does it relate to our blood? If these questions ever crossed your mind, them come and join us at Brock University for a fun-filled lab exercise where all these questions will be answered. You will learn how blood can be classified into different groups based on the presence or absence of certain proteins on the surface of red blood cells (RBCs). You will also experience how blood typing can help in solving forensic mysteries and identifying donors for transfusions during medical emergencies. In a scenario-based activity, you will get a chance to become a detective and attempt to solve a “murder”. By performing a blood type analysis to match the blood type of samples found at the “crime scene” with those of several suspects, you can help identify the “culprit”. In another scenario, you can become a hematologist who will practice cross-matching to determine which blood types are compatible for transfusions and find the right “donor” to “save a patient’s life”! Are you ready to take up these challenges?
7. Purely H2O?
A key step in the purification of city drinking water is the addition of a coagulant to assist with the removal of suspended particles. Suspended particles (colloids) scatter light and cause water to look turbid (cloudy). Alum is a chemical coagulant which is often used for clarifying drinking water. Students will make and use alum in various water samples before filtering the water through a sand and anthracite filter. To check the effectiveness of the treatment, the turbidity of the samples will be measured.
8. Flames, Fireworks and Explosions
You can choose from many spectacular experiments – The Volcano Reactions, Barking Dogs, Instant Fire and Coloured Fireworks among them – to learn more about how fireworks are made and some common causes of explosions and fires in science labs. Demonstrators will help you set up these exciting reactions so that you can perform them safely.
9. Coffee Cups, DNA, and Slime
Question: What on earth do these three things have in common? Answer: They are all part of the group of chemicals called polymers. While the molecular formulae are all different, they are all made by chemically linking together many identical small molecules. In this session, we will be making a number of polymers, including the Ghostbusters’ “slime.” We will look at how they are formed and their many uses. We will also consider the solutions to problems that can be associated with the re-use and recycling of mass-produced plastics. (And, yes, you can take your slime home with you.)
10. Build Your Own Space Invaders
This workshop will guide you through the development of a Space Invaders clone using the 2D game development system GameEditor. You will learn basic logical skills in order to create a game. Depending on the level of the workshop, you will also obtain basic programming skills in C. After this fun class you will be able to play your game on your PC, your Mac, or even your iPhone.
11. Go Fish!
Bring to life the ancient remains of fossilized fish from the Green River Formation in Wyoming! Using fossil preparation tools and techniques employed by paleontologists and curators in museums worldwide, you will have the opportunity to uncover and prepare your own specimen of a fossilized fish. Each specimen is different – so you may uncover other fossils during your preparatory work! We will discuss how these unique fossils formed and how studying the environments of the past give us a glimpse at our future! When complete take your specimen home with you (and prove it wasn’t all a tall fish tale!).
12. Physics is Too Cool!
In this unit, you will learn about super-cold cryogenic substances like dry ice and liquid-nitrogen. You will investigate how well different types of materials conduct an electrical current at these low temperatures. The materials you will get to examine are metals, semiconductors and superconductors. It’s these superconductors that are expected to have important technological applications because of their many unusual properties; including their ability to levitate magnets, as you will see!
13. At the speed of light
Light is one of the ways we interact with the world around us. Our eyes are the first thing to tell us about our surrounding environments. Even the virtual world, which we interact with more and more each day, is brought to us via light. But just how do we capture that 3D information in a picture? In this session, we will explore how our eyes operate and communicate with us using photons.
14. Take a Calcoolus Tour (Grade 11)
Discover how fun “calcoolus” can be using the interactive games and explorations of a software program developed by one of Brock’s own Mathematics professors. You will be amazed at how much mathematics you can learn without even trying!
15. eBrock Bugs Adventure (Grade 10)
Oh no! The bullies have taken over Bug City! Can you save Smarty, Bugzy and everyone else by beating the bullies at their own game? Be warned, the bullies are clever and know how to play very well, so you’ll have to put on your thinking cap to outsmart them! Don’t worry, expert help is available from Smarty and Bugzy. By playing this online game, developed at Brock by a Mathematics student and two professors, you will learn many key concepts in probability.
16. Measuring the Mind
Discover how to measure brain function and thought through interactive neuropsychological tests – what are your ‘neurological strengths’? Experience what it’s like when your brain isn’t able to do what it’s used to doing. Discover how you can measure your mind and what those measures can tell us about the brain and and how it functions.
17. Experience @BrockMakerSpace
Discover the Makerspace in Brock’s James A. Gibson Library and all that it has to offer! Try your hand at 3D modelling, 3D scanning and 3D printing, or learn about Arduinos and Raspberry Pi single-board computers. Spend some time learning some audio or video editing tricks, do some green-screen photography, then learn how to program a robot! The Makerspace is a fun, collaborative, open environment for all Brock students, and this session will give you an in-depth overview of Makerspace concepts and activities.
Step 2 – Register Online
Registration will begin on Monday March 2nd for the 2020 event. Registration will be closing when capacity is reached or on Monday, April 13, 2020 at 3:59 pm.
To register, please click here.
An email will be sent out to participants early in the week of the Conference (by Tuesday April 28, 2020). Check in your junk email if you have not received your email.
Online Registration may be completed by the school, parents and/or students themselves. Be sure to choose your top 4 project choices before registering. The cost to cover all meals, snacks, activities and accommodations for 1 night is $250 + HST ($282.50) per student. Fill out your permission forms with your parent(s) and send them in after you register. Participant information that is required for online registration is listed on the School Registration Form, provided for ease of schools to gather the information.
School Registration Form. This form is only a tool to help gather the required information. If you are registering online, ensure you create the account using the conference participant’s name (the student’s name). An email will be sent out to participants during the week of the conference (please, provide the students email address during registration).
Should you wish to cancel your registration, please email Damon Currie email@example.com. Cancellation of registrations received via email on or before Thursday, April 9, 2020, will be provided a full refund minus a $50 administration & processing fee. Cancellations received on or after Friday, April 10, 2020, are not eligible to receive a refund.
Step 3 – Fill Out Your Permission Forms
After registration through the link on the Registration page, you must send in the forms below.
Please download and print out the following form:
This form must be signed by a parent or legal guardian of any child participating in specially organized youth programs at Brock University.
Please send these completed and signed forms to:
Department of Biological Sciences
1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way
St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1
Mail, fax or email by April 14, 2020.