Registration is now closed. Please join us next year.
Ready to dive into the world of science? Great! Here’s everything you need to get started.
Step 1 – Choose Your Six 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 accomodate 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 an Ecosystem
The resilience of 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, overexploitation, climate change etc.) A basic understanding of this problem is an essential element of ecology. That being said, the complex natural world does not allow scientists to fully understand the factors that affect ecosystem health and thus predict future stability. Building an artificial ecosystems or microcosms allow scientists to study how an ecosystem will respond to stressors in a controlled manner. Interested students will have the ability to build their own closed ecosystems and have the opportunity to vary some of the resources in order to impose stressors on their ecosystems. Students will build these closed ecosystems using living species such as sea anemones, brine shrimp and algae and get to take their ecosystems home in a sealed container for observation (don’t worry, all of the critters will have enough food to sustain themselves).
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. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.)
9. 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.
10. 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!).
11. 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!
12. At the speed of light
This project is all about light. The internet is delivered to us at the speed of light down fiberoptic cables, using lasers of many colors. So-called 3D TV and movies promises more exciting entertainment. We will explore how this is done, and the nature of light itself, by sending sound across the room without wires; mix, filter and demix “musical light”. Cause a fluorescent bulb to light up – without power. Make a true 3D hologram that you can take with you.
13. 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!
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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 is now closed. Please join us next next year.
Registration will begin on Monday March 5th for the 2018 event. Registration will be closing when capacity is reached or on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 2:59 pm.
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 $225 + HST ($254.25) per student. Be sure to fill out your permission forms and send them in after you register. Participant information required to register is listed on the School Registration Form.
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 first week of May (please, provide the students email address during registration).
Should you wish to cancel your registration, please email Damon Currie firstname.lastname@example.org. Cancellation of registrations received via email on or before Sunday, April 22, 2018, will be provided a full refund minus a $50 administration & processing fee. Cancellations received on or after Monday, April 23, 2018, 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 23rd, 2018.