NDP says Science World program will be restored
For about seven years, Science World staff would leave Vancouver, taking myriad scientific experiments with them as they toured classrooms in the province.
The idea of the touring program, known as the B.C. Program for Awareness and Learning of Science (BC PALS) was to give kids far from Vancouver a chance to experience some of what Lower Mainland residents do on a regular basis.
The program was funded by the B.C. Liberal government at a cost of $1 million a year.
Last year, the government cut the program, which prompted B.C. NDP Leader to announce in Kamloops that, if elected on May 14, his party will restore funding to the program.
"The BC PALS program was successfully promoting science literacy across B.C., reaching an average of 190,000 children, parents and teachers in about 150 communities a year," Dix said during his Friday, Feb. 15, announcement at Thompson Rivers University, noting the provincial government's Labour Market Outlook highlights the need for science-literacy programs for students.
"I think teachers would say it was an unqualified success."
Flanking Dix at TRU were local NDP candidates Tom Friedman and Kathy Kendall, TRU School of Education instructor Carol Rees and retired science teacher Eric Wiebe.
"I think this program would be a wonderful thing again to have for our community," Rees said, noting research has shown the importance of kids ages eight to 13 being exposed to science experiences, particularly the hands-on variety offered in the Science World program.
Wiebe noted the general public also needs to be made aware of breakthroughs in technology and science, be it the meteor that zipped over Russia this week, the hunt for the Higgs-Bosom particle or the details behind what caused a mechanical breakdown of a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico this week.
"It simply makes people aware of our great need for technology and science," Wiebe said of BC PALS.