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Professional Development Day for Teachers Is “Out of This World”

29 October 2008

As a joint project with the BC Association of Physics Teachers (BCAPT) and BC Science Teachers' Association (BCScTA), TRIUMF hosted “Out of This World Science” for the 4th Professional Development Day for Teachers. Secondary school science teachers spent October 24 participating in hands-on activities and listening to speakers in sessions that make physics relevant and accessible as a high school subject.

As part of their goal to promote physics education in British Columbia and provide professional development to high school teachers, BCAPT and BCScTA organize events such as the Professional Development Day for Teachers at TRIUMF. The conference helps teachers update their skills and practices as well as learn what’s new in science. The two organizations work to ensure that science teachers receive up-to-date information for teaching the newest revelations in science.

TRIUMF was originally chosen as the location for Professional Development Day eight years ago because of its popularity as a site for high school tours and the relevance of its work to the high school science curriculum. On TRIUMF’s side, the creation of the conference was managed by Stan Yen and Marcello Pavan.

This year’s conference was attended by over 70 teachers, representing grades ranging from grades 8 to 12. It lasted from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., providing time for each participant to attend two workshops and one speaker session. Four speakers gave talks about new developments in science, including Isabel Trigger, Stan Yen, and Tom Ruth from TRIUMF, and Jaymie Mathews from UBC. Topics covered included the LHC, fundamental research, nuclear medicine, and astrophysics. Throughout the day, workshops for the teachers allowed them to take a tour of TRIUMF, identify subatomic particles, use a cosmic ray detector, view DVD science lectures from TRIUMF, manipulate diffraction gratings and prisms, and observe the creation of isotopes.

The majority of lecturers and workshop leaders throughout the years have been TRIUMF members. In addition to hosting the conference, TRIUMF also provided handouts and DVDs for teachers to use as teaching aids for science lessons in high school classrooms.



Kaitlan Huckabone
TRIUMF's Communications Assistant