CAGIS Virtual Past Events 2022-2023 – Canadian Association for Girls In Science (CAGIS)

CAGIS Virtual
Past Events (2022-2023)

Saturday September 24 – Build a Sound Recording Device – FREE KIT!

Have you ever recorded your voice on a phone or in a studio?  Do you know how it works?  In this session, we will receive FREE sound recorder kits in the mail and HACK them to learn the science, engineering, and mathematics of electronics!  By the end, we will be able to turn our devices into personalized greeting cards or toys with our voices!

Preparation: It was our 30th birthday and we sent all participants a gift! All participants received a free sound recording kit in the mail.

Expert: Dr. Ana Rodrigues started programming when she was only ten years old.  She now has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and many years of experience in industry and STEM education.

This project is supported by the Natural Engineering and Research Council of Canada.

To become a memberjoin here.

Saturday October 1 – The Three Sisters, Water, & Indigenous Knowledge

Indigenous Peoples have been monitoring, collecting data, and stewarding the land and the environment across the ages. This has led to a rich knowledge base, known as Traditional Ecological Knowledge, which is a part of Indigenous Knowledge, a recognized science.  Traditional Ecological Knowledge includes a vast body of information about the interconnected elements of the environment, information that has been transmitted through oral storytelling. 

In this session, we planted the Three Sisters (corn, squash, and beans), tested tap water at home, and learned how these elements interconnect.  We also took part in a Virtual Reality experience where participants travelled in a virtual canoe and learn about traditional Haudenosaunee, or Six Nations, cultures. 
 

Preparation: corn, bean, and squash seeds, soil, a pot, paints and paintbrush, paper (if the pot is not paintable), and optionally, pH test strips (these are widely available at hardware stores and pet stores).

Expert: Makaśa Looking Horse, a McMaster University student and environmental activist from the Lakota and Mohawk Wolf Clans. Makaśa is renowned for her activism for water protection and security and is the host of the Ohneganos: Let’s Talk Water YouTube series. This session was facilitated by our partners, Grandmother’s Voice.

To become a memberjoin here.

Saturday October 8 – Build a Sound Recording Device – BONUS SESSION WITH FREE KIT!

Have you ever recorded your voice on a phone or in a studio?  Do you know how it works?  In this session, we will receive FREE sound recorder kits in the mail and HACK them to learn the science, engineering, and mathematics of electronics!  By the end, we will be able to turn our devices into personalized greeting cards or toys with our voices!

Preparation: It was our 30th birthday and we sent all participants a gift! All participants received a free sound recording kit in the mail.

This project is supported by the Natural Engineering and Research Council of Canada.

To become a member, join here.

Saturday October 15 – Modelling Nuclear Physics with M&M’s

Have you ever wondered how scientists determine the age of a fossil or ancient relic?  The secret is at the heart of an atom!  Certain types of atoms give off particles and energy over time, a process called radioactive decay.  This can happen very quickly, over seconds, or over millions of years.  By observing radioactive decay, physicists can measure time on tiny or enormous scales.  At this event, we learned more about the process and modeled it in an eye-opening and very delicious way – with chocolate.

Preparation: One 200g pack of plain M&M’s (not the peanut or any other variety). Count 100 M&M’s and put them in a small plastic or paper sandwich bag; one regular food plate (to spread the M&Ms); one pencil, eraser and a piece of paper to take notes.
NOTE: If you need to replace the M&M’s you can also use two packages of Skittles (around 120g).

Expert: Dr. Gwen Grinyer is an experimental nuclear physicist and an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Regina.

To become a member, join here.

Saturday October 22 – Visualizing Bird Songs

Can you see bird songs?  No?  Guess again!  In this session, we createe our own bird whistles based on the biology of birds and saw the sound waves created by the whistles on our computers! We even simulated how stress changes the bird songs! Are you ready to sing along?

Preparation: 1 piece of paper (colour paper, if possible), 2 jumbo smoothie plastic straws, 2 pieces of Blue-tak (reusable adhesive), 1 plastic folder (transparent, any colour), 4 polybands (mini-elastics). Tools: Scissors, Ruler, Black Sharpie.

Expert: Pavlina Faltynek has a M.Sc. in behavioural and cognitive neuroscience from Western University.
 
To become a memberjoin here.

Saturday October 29 – Jiggling Gels: Halloween Concoctions

Ewww… what’s that slippery stuff?!  Halloween is a time to explore the chemistry of hygroscopic substances that are slimy, slippery, and sticky.  Food gels contain protein strands that twist together in a special way. We whipped up our own gelatinous concoctions with chemistry to celebrate.  Think ectoplasm, slime, and green ooze!

Preparation: 1 package of Jell-O (vegan alternative: 1 package of agar); 2 cups of hot water (1 minute in the microwave); flour (gluten-free alternative: corn starch); red and green food dye; 6 small (1 oz) cups (or a silicone ice cube mould).  Measuring tools: 1 tablespoon (tbsp), 1 teaspoon (tsp).

The participants that wore their Halloween costumes had a chance to win a prize!

Expert: Brianna Rector is a Ph.D. Candidate at Western University studying carbon steel corrosion dynamic model development.

To become a memberjoin here.

Saturday November 5 – Mathmón : the fun statistics of card games

Do you want to become an unbeatable game-player?  In this session, we created our own card deck and used statistics to calculate our chances of winning or losing on our own Pokemón-inspired card game! These techniques can be applied to other games as well, to use math to create an advantage! Are you ready to play?

Preparation: Download and print the Mathmón deck template from this link (in colour, if possible). Get rounded scissors to cut the cards (a plastic ruler may work too);  an electronic calculator (you can also use one on a phone or on your computer); a blank piece of paper; pencil; eraser; crayons or markers in different colours. 

Expert: Sarah Sun has a Bachelor of Mathematics and develops mathematical models for the banking industry.  She was Deputy Leader for Math Team Canada at the International Mathematics Olympiad and is one of the creators of the After Math podcast.

To become a member, join here.

Saturday November 12 – Plant Doctors

Have you ever had a stuffy nose, sore throat, or cough?  Those are signs that you’re feeling sick, but how can you tell when a plant is sick? Together, we became plant doctors – or plant pathologists – and diagnosed sick plants. We assessed plant samples with leaves from our garden, a house plant, or from a nature walk. We made a plant press to help our diagnostics. Let’s give our plants a health checkup!

Preparation: Old fruit, vegetables, or plants that do not look healthy. Leaves from your garden, a house plant, or a nature walk. 2 pieces of heavy cardboard cut into an 8” X 8” square. Newspaper or cut or folded into an 8” X 8” square. 4 sturdy rubber bands. Weights (such as a heavy book). OPTIONAL: Magnifying glass or microscope.

Expert: Sara Stricker, B. Sc., B. Ed., M. Sc., Ph.D is a plant scientist and Communications and Outreach Coordinator at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute.  She studies plant pathology – diseases that harm plants – and how to defend against them. 

To become a memberjoin here.

Saturday November 19 – Floating 3D Images

Do you believe in ghosts? What about ghosts created with math? In this visually stunning session, we made a pyramid to project 3D images from a smartphone or tablet using the principle of “Pepper’s Ghost”: an illusion technique used in the theatre, cinema, amusement parks, museums, television and concerts. We created different projections that, combined, created a 3D image floating in the air. Are you ready to be illuminated?

Preparation: Print this shape template, clear hard plastic (e.g. a cover from a package box or a plastic folder), clear tape, scissors, ruler, sharpie, smartphone.

Expert: Maggie MacPhee has a degree in Mathematics and teaches Math and Physics. 

To become a memberjoin here.