With the passing of Gordon Gore, Kamloops and the province have lost a very significant advocate and practitioner of science education.
As a retired junior science and physics teacher from Kamloops, I can attest to his influence on my teaching over my career.
Interestingly, when I was in grades 7 and 8 at John Oliver in Vancouver, Gore began his teaching career there.
Unfortunately, I was not in any of his classes.
He was a great advocate of hands-on activities as opposed to primarily reading or lecturing the ideas. Many of Gore’s practical suggestions appeared in the BC Science Teachers publications or textbooks. His workshops were outstanding.
My two sons were fortunate to have Gore as their science teacher at Westsyde secondary.
One went one to become a computer science troubleshooter, while the other is head of CAT scans at Royal Inland Hospital.
He always had the best interests of students at heart. He was renowned for his photos of students engaged at school, whether in sports, drama or grad ceremonies. Westsyde’s halls were lined with his photographs. He truly helped create a special culture at whatever school he taught.
Upon retirement, Gore recruited me to the newly formed Big Little Science Centre in 2002.
He had begun the project out of the trunk of his car at various elementary schools. David Thompson elementary eventually supplied two classrooms.
Over the following years, the science centre expanded to occupy most of Happyvale elementary.
Gore’s delight with “doing” science sparkled in his many different shows, accompanied by his humour, wit and surprise. He always invited people, especially the kids, to assist him with the show.
Many of the items in the hands-on area were of his making or design. He leaves a very big hole at the science centre for the rest of us to fill.
Unfortunately, Gore was diagnosed with ALS, which progressed slowly. Even from his wheelchair, he regularly designed and participated in workshops, continued to take photographs and edited more than 300 newsletters. Up until recently he was a regular visitor to The Dunes at Kamloops Golf Course, where he photographed the local wildlife.
Many of his former students and colleagues, and the people of Kamloops, will miss this giant of science enthusiasm who we were privileged to know and experience.