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
The resilience of Earth’s ecosystems and the services it provides (e.g. clean air, food, fertile soils, etc.), are currently threatened by many human induced threats (e.g., climate change, pollution, overexploitation, etc.). It is very difficult to truly understand these human induced threats and their impact on the ecosystem, as the ecosystem itself is governed by many complex interactions. To get around this problem, ecologists can make artificial ecosystems and study the impact of human induced threats one at a time. In this project, you will become ecologists and attempt to build your very own artificial ecosystem! You will get the chance to learn about the major players (i.e., the primary, secondary producers, and the consumers), and then you will get to build an ecosystem you think will become self-sufficient and outlast the test of time!
Oenology and Viticulture
3. 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!
4. Brain and Cardiovascular Health (new project in 2022)
An important connection exists between our brain and our cardiovascular system. For humans to survive, the brain must tell the cardiovascular system exactly how to function and the cardiovascular system must always supply our brain with oxygen-rich blood. When these systems fail, we develop cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases – the leading cause of death among Canadians! To help us perform important activities such as standing up, running, or lifting weights, the brain makes our heart beat faster and squeezes our blood vessels to increase blood pressure. Healthy elastic blood vessels are also key to helping the heart deliver oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to our brain and muscles. This demonstration will highlight how the brain controls the cardiovascular system during physical exercise and standing by using state-of-the-art equipment including ECG, continuous blood pressure monitors, isometric handgrip and a tilt table. We will also highlight the elasticity of important blood vessels supplying our brain using cutting-edge ultrasound techniques that allow us to see our blood vessels in action and hear blood flow to the brain!
5. 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?
6. 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.
7. 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 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.)
8. 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.
9. 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!).
10. Building Robots (new project in 2022)
In this unit, you will build a robot with your peer. You will practice your problem-solving skills and be creative. It will also be a chance to make good friends and have fun.
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!
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.
13. eBrock Bugs Adventure
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.
14. 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.
15. 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, Design with Cricut, 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. Creativity in Design with Cricut or Code in 3D with BlocksCAD.
Step 2 – Register Online
Registration for 2023: TBA
An email will be sent out to participants early in the week of the Conference (May 9th). Check your junk email if you have not received your email by May 10th.
Online Registration may be completed by the school, parents, and/or students themselves. Be sure to choose your Top 4 project choices (Step 1) before registering. The cost to cover all meals, snacks and activities is $250 + HST ($282.50) per student. Fill out your permission forms with your parent(s) or guardian(s) (Step 3) and send them in after you register. Participant information that is required for online registration is listed in the School Registration Form below (provided for ease of schools to gather the information).
For Schools that want to pay for multiple Registrations
School Registration Form here. This form is only a tool to help gather the required information for registration. Ensure that you create the individual online accounts using each students name (conference participants name and email). Choose cheque payment method, then mail in a cheque with all the students names in the memo or call Amanda Laprise (905-688-5550 x4443) to charge a credit card for multiple students.
Should you wish to cancel your registration, please email Amanda Laprise firstname.lastname@example.org. Cancellation of registrations received via email on or before April 21, 2023, will be provided a full refund minus a $50 administration & processing fee. Cancellations on or after April 22, 2023, are not eligible to receive a refund.
Health and Safety Policies on Brock Campus
To guarantee participation in Scientifically Yours on campus, please have proof of two doses of COVID-19 vaccination.
Brock University will continue with the following health and safety measures into the Spring and Summer Terms:
Step 3 – Fill Out Your Permission Forms
After registration through the link on the Step 2 Registration page, you must send in the forms below.
Please download and print 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 the 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 23, 2023.
There is one bed in each room with a shared washroom. Please remember to leave the other door unlocked as you exit the washroom after use.
Bring medications and other needed items with you; you will not be able to run back to the residences during the day.
Once you return to the residence Thursday evening after the Mentor’s Dinner, please stay on your floor. Ask your Residence Guide or Security staff if you have any needs or requests.