FOSTER Science Program

The departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biology, together with the Faculty of Science and in partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, are happy to announce the continuance of a relatively new initiative focused on hands-on science field trip opportunities in the laboratories at Memorial University.

Students in lab

Over the past three years, the departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biology have been diligently working on the development of a public engagement opportunity for school-aged children. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting school closures and limited access to Memorial University, the FOSTER Science Program will not be going ahead in spring 2020. Thank you to everyone who has shown an interest in this program. We look forward to seeing you in the spring of 2021. 

For the information of teachers, this program offers a complimentary experiential, 2-2.5-hour learning opportunity for students at the Grade 8 level, which has been designed to support current curricula outcomes as identified through consultation with local school teachers and administrators at the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District.

Students in lab

The field trips will involve students and teachers making visits to Memorial University to experience hands-on extraction of DNA/protein from foods and measuring protein activity in the Department of Biochemistry.

The Department of Chemistry will see students performing an experiment involving the dissolution of aluminum foil in a solution and the resultant precipitation and isolation of copper metal from the solution.

With the Department of Biology, students will apply techniques involved in the isolation of chloropasts from plants and apply the skills required for testing it for photosynthesis properties.

In addition to these hands-on interactive challenges, students will also enjoy department tours and exciting demonstrations with the departments involved.

Students in lab

Frequently Asked Questions

Where and when will the field trips take place?

These field trips take place at MUN Biochemistry, Chemistry and Biology labs during the month of May. 

What is the cost for this field trip?

There is no cost for the visits to the labs. However, schools are responsible for their own student transportation.

How many students can be accommodated per trip and how will it work?

The field trips will be able to accommodate a maximum of 150 students at a time with students broken into lab groups of approximately 25 students. Several labs groups will spend their visit in the Department of Chemistry, others in Biochemistry and still others in Biology. With the lab experience particular to the department in which each group visits, all visits are designed as hands-on experiences which align with Junior High curriculum outcomes.

Who attends the field trips?

The intent is for all students in Grade 8 from a particular school to have the opportunity to take part in the field trips to MUN, which means a school may be required to book more than one day to accommodate all their students. Please note that supervision for the visit is expected with at least one teacher (or parent volunteer) required per 25 students.

What time will we need to arrive?

The preferred arrival time will be between 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. However, it is realized that based on normal hours of operation and schedules of individual schools as well as lengthy travel times for schools outside of the St. John’s/Mount Pearl area, there may be a need for flexibility in start times.

Can I specify a preferred department for our visit?

For schools with smaller numbers of students, there will be some option with respect to the department you wish to visit. For schools with larger numbers of students, in order to accommodate your school visit in a minimal number of days, different groups of 25 students will visit different departments. The department that a particular teacher would like to visit with their group of 25 students will be decided by the school individually.

Are the labs at MUN fully accessible?

MUN and their labs are wheelchair accessible for students.


Please send any inquiries to sciencefieldtrips@mun.ca

Contact

Faculty of Science

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000