March 2011

A Physics Lab in Stevenston-London High school in Richmond

A Physics Lab Steveston-London High School

A Physics Lab Steveston-London High School

Yesterday I had an opportunity to visit a high school in Richmond: Steveston-London Secondary School. I was invited by a physics teachers in that school (Mr. S. Clements) to see his physics lab. It is a school break now, the school is empty. What an amazing experience. I had no idea that a public high school can be so well equipped and a physics teacher can do so many amazing things with their students. I wish this school was something we can see more often across Canada. As I walked through the labs, I thought, how did it all happen? Why don’t other schools provide their students with these opportunities? Why during my entire visit Scott was telling me positive things about opportunities and great things his colleagues and he were able to achieve instead of complaining about the lack of funding… Somehow, they take a full advantage of external funding and all opportunities to make physics and engineering experience fun and exciting. In my view, they are real teachers – they love teaching physics, they enjoy it and they love sharing their passion with their students.

Of course, the key issues is the teachers and the administration, not just the building and the equipment. When Scott shared with me some of the activities he does with his students (for example, Lego Robotics competition, etc.), I thought how exciting it is for the students. I also asked about the girls in his physics classes and many of them do take physics. How do these teachers happen? What empowers them. I know a number of amazing science and physics teachers in Vancouver and Toronto. These people make a huge difference in students’ lives and I am so-so grateful for what they do!

I hope to be able to do research with Scott, I will certainly be able to learn a lot from him. What an exciting opportunity. I am glad I visited this school before going to South Africa. This way, I will have a very positive example of physics teaching in Canadian secondary schools fresh in my head.

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