CAGIS Virtual

CAGIS Virtual is a new program that brings STEM into your home with weekly, hands-on, live sessions led by real experts!

CAGIS Virtual events explore a new topic each week with fun virtual and hands-on activities led by real experts and a certified teacher.

Each session includes an introduction to the topic, a hands-on or virtual activity, and time for questions at the end.

Sessions occur on Saturdays at the following times:
Ages 7-12: 8 am Pacific •  9 am Mountain • 10 am Central • 11 am Eastern • 12 pm Atlantic
Ages 11-16: 10 am Pacific • 11 am Mountain • 12 pm Central • 1 pm Eastern • 2 pm Atlantic

To become a member, Join Now.
CAGIS Virtual sessions are open to non-members for $16 per session.  Registration will be open to members before the general public.

Schedule

Upcoming events will be posted at least one month in advance.  Members will have access to event sign up links before the general public.  We expect to always have enough space for all sign ups.  However, in the event of a very popular event, spaces will go on a first-come-first-served basis with others added to a waiting list.  The schedule is subject to change, pending changes in host availability.

Saturday January 16 – Go with your Gut

They say you are what you eat, but have you ever thought about how your body digests food and turns it into energy? Make your own working stethoscope, and use it to learn about the gastrointestinal system and how doctors observe a healthy digestive tract.

Preparation: two funnels, 60 cm or 24 inches of flexible vinyl or plastic tubing (found at hardware stores; the narrow end of the funnel should fit inside the tubing), tape, two or more balloons, scissors.

If you can’t find tubing or funnels, a simpler stethoscope can be made with the cardboard tube from a toilet paper roll or paper towel roll, thick paper (eg. construction paper, cardstock), tape, scissors.   However, the tubing and funnel design is preferred and will produce a better sound.

Expert: Dr. Aze Wilson is a clinical gastroenterologist and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Western University.

Ages 7-12: 11 am ET.  Members sign up here (free).  Non-members sign up here ($16).
Ages 11-16: 1 pm ET.  Members sign up here (free).  Non-members sign up here ($16).
To become a member, join here.

Saturday January 23 – Renewable Energy.  Clean Tech for the Future

You have heard of renewable energy… but what is it, exactly?  How do you know if the energy you use is renewable or not?  What does an environmental engineer do?  How can green energy help us move toward a low-carbon future?  Explore these questions and build your own renewable energy powered creations at home!

Preparation:  two paper, plastic, or styrofoam cups (paper or styrofoam is preferred), one long wooden skewer, one push pin OR single hole punch, sticky tack (nice to have, but optional), tape, scissors, pencil, ruler, string, paper clip. 

Experts: McMaster’s Women in Engineering Society.

Ages 7-12: 11 am ET.  Members sign up here (free).  Non-members sign up here ($16).
Ages 11-16: 1 pm ET.  Members sign up here (free).  Non-members sign up here ($16).
To become a member, join here.

Saturday January 30 – Chromatography Tie Dye

Have you ever spilled water on a newspaper?  Did you notice that the ink runs and spreads on the page? In this session, we will learn about ink solubility and a laboratory technique called chromatography, which allows you to separate a mixture. Then, we will explore the technique by making a colourful chromatography tie dye project. Join us for some creative chemistry!

Preparation: a few rubber bands, 2-5 plastic cups, a colourful assortment of permanent markers (dollar store ones work well), an eyedropper, 70% or higher isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), white fabric that can be dyed (eg. t-shirt).  You will also want to protect your workspace.
 
Expert: Carine Nemr is completing her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Toronto.
 

Ages 7-12: 11 am ET.  Members sign up here (free).  Non-members sign up here ($16).
Ages 11-16: 1 pm ET.  Members sign up here (free).  Non-members sign up here ($16)
To become a member, join here.

Saturday February 6 – Send your Code to Space!

We’re participating in the European Space Agency’s Astro Pi Challenge!  Learn to code a simple program that takes a humidity reading on the International Space Station.  Then, customize it with a personalized message for the astronauts on board.  The programs of participants aged 14 and younger will actually be run in space!  At the end, receive a certificate showing where exactly the ISS was when your program ran.

Preparation: The coding can be done in a web browser.  To participate, you will need a computer with an internet connection (not a tablet or mobile device).
 
Expert: Chimira Andres works for the European Space Agency.  She completed a M.Sc. in Geophysics and Planetary Science at Western University and is also the President of SEDS Canada, a not-for-profit student space organization. 
 

Ages 7-12: 11 am ET.  Members sign up here (free).  Non-members sign up here ($16).
Ages 11-16: 1 pm ET.  Members sign up here (free).  Non-members sign up here ($16)
To become a member, join here.

Saturday February 13 – The Science of Chocolate

Did you know that every Valentine’s Day, over 58 million pounds of chocolate are purchased around the world including 36 million heart-shaped chocolate boxes!  Nine out of ten of us say we love chocolate, but have you ever wondered about the science behind this delicious treat?  What is its active ingredient?  What is the difference between chocolate, cocoa, and cacao?  Is it true that chocolate is poisonous for dogs?  Learn the answers to these questions and more, and try making your own chocolate-flavoured treat at home during this very tasty session.

Preparation: Check back for a list of materials.
 
Expert: Bonnie Douglas is a food engineer. While she has spent most of her working life working in an ice cream factory, she also spent some time working in a cookie factory.  She also made the world’s tallest ice cream cone!
 

Ages 7-12: 11 am ET.  Members sign up here (free).  Non-members sign up here ($16).
Ages 11-16: 1 pm ET.  Members sign up here (free).  Non-members sign up here ($16)
To become a member, join here.

Saturday February 20 – Your Amazing Skeleton

Did you know that the adult body has over 206 bones? Fifty-four of them are just in our hands and wrists!  If you’ve ever seen a skeleton or fossil in a museum, you might think that all bones are dead, but your skeleton is a living, active part of your body.  In fact, all of your blood cells are manufactured inside your bones.  In this session, we will learn more about the surprising composition of bones, and how biomedical engineers design solutions for patients who have injured a bone.  

Preparation: Check back for a list of materials.
 
Expert: Dr. Adele Changoor received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from École Polytechnique Montréal, and works at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.
 

Ages 7-12: 11 am ET.  Members sign up here (free).  Non-members sign up here ($16).
Ages 11-16: 1 pm ET.  Members sign up here (free).  Non-members sign up here ($16)
To become a member, join here.  

Upcoming sessions

Sessions will be posted at least one month in advance.  Sessions in the winter and spring include:

Aviation and Things that Fly

Coding in Python

Space and Planetary Science

Events will run until end of May.  View past events here.