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; 11 am Eastern; 12 pm Atlantic
Ages 11-16: 10 am Pacific; 1 pm Eastern; 2 pm Atlantic
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 September 26 – All About Trees
Did you know that being in nature provides a calming sensation, lowers heart rate, respiration rate, and stress?
Great, but how do you tell which tree is which? There’s a science to it! Dr. Janani Sivarajah will be teaching us the science of classifying trees. We will split into groups and go through the steps scientists follow to identify trees.
Preparation: Take some pictures of trees in your neighbourhood and bring them to the session so we can identify them together.
Expert: Dr. Janani Sivarajah is an urban forest ecology and plant biology researcher! She is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, Brock University and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, lectures at the Department of Forestry, University of Toronto, and is a Research Associate at the Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University.
Saturday October 3 – DNA extraction at Home!
What colour are your eyes? What colour is your hair? You look the way you do because of the genes you inherited from your parents. Genes are microscopic and carry information about how living things look and function. Genes are made of DNA, which is short for deoxyribonucleic acid.
In this session, we will be doing DNA extraction, a procedure scientists use to isolate DNA from the nucleus, or centre, of cells. Extracting DNA can help study the genetic causes of diseases, find strains of crops that are resistant to certain pests, and more. We will each be extracting DNA from a strawberry with materials you can find at home, and learning about biotechnology and genetic engineering from Julie Legault.
Preparation: Check back for a list of materials
Expert: Julie Legault is the Founder and CEO of Amino Labs, and co-author of Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero: The Beginners Guide to Programming Bacteria at Home.
Saturday October 10 – No Session (Thanksgiving Weekend)
Saturday October 17 – Fantastic Fungus!
Have you ever eaten fungus? Have you ever eaten a mushroom? Well, mushrooms are a type of fungus, so if you have eaten a mushroom, you have eaten fungus! In this session we will be going on a virtual walk with plant scientist Sara Stricker to learn about different kinds of fungus like mushrooms, black spot, and more! We will then break into groups to do an activity that will allow us to see the spores associated with fungus.
Preparation: You will need mushrooms from the grocery store and white paper
Expert: Sara Stricker is a plant scientist and PhD candidate at the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph. She studies plant pathology – diseases that harm plants – and how to defend against them.
Saturday October 24 – Mobile App Development
What is your favourite app? Instagram? Tik Tok? Snap chat? Have you ever thought about how the apps are made? In this session we will learn how to make our own basic applications, or apps for short.
Preparation (optional): Think about an idea for a new app. Can you think of something that would improve your life, or someone else’s life?
Expert: Janelle Hinds has been called the Mobile App Queen! Janelle, who was featured on Forbes’s 2020 Top 30 under 30 list in Education, graduated from McMaster University with a Biomedical and Electrical Engineering degree, and is the Founder of the Helping Hands App, which connects the non-profit sector with willing volunteers.
Saturday October 31 – Halloween, Chemistry, and Glow in the Dark Slime!
It’s Halloween, the lights are low, and all you’ll see are things that glow.
Sessions will be posted at least one month in advance. Sessions in the late fall, winter, and spring, include:
The Science of Chocolate
Aviation and Things that Fly
The Chemistry of Making Shampoo and Soap
Renewable Energy and Climate Change
Coding in Python
Space and Planetary Science
There will be no events in December and the season will restart in January.