Our Neighbourhood Small Grant enabled two exciting, hands-on, science workshops in Queen Elizabeth Park: Pollinators in the Park and Design Challenge Workshop. People who attended these workshops enjoyed getting to know each other while engaging in our experiential learning activities and enjoying the park.
As the name suggests, Pollinators in the Park focused on pollinators, such as bees, moths, and hummingbirds. We began with a discussion of the different types of pollinators found in this region, with an emphasis on bees, one of our main types of pollinators. We learned how to spot and identify these wonderful critters. After the short discussions, we moved into the rose garden, putting our newly-learned identification skills to good use. We were fortunate to spot a number of pollinators, including bumble and honey bees, butterflies, and even a couple of hummingbirds. A highlight occurred when one participant discovered a patrolling male wool carder bee protecting his mate from other bees! After our garden adventures, everyone enjoyed making homemade recycled paper that we filled with pollinator-attracting seeds that participants could take home and grow.We especially enjoyed our discussions where participants shared their bee and gardening knowledge, including the stories from a beginning beekeeper.
Our second workshop, the Design Challenge, helped to dispel the anxiety and uncertainty people often have when engaging in physics and engineering activities. After a short discussion on engineering and design, we set our fully hands-on challenge for our participants: design a ‘race track’ that would allow a rubber ball to move as slowly as possible from start to finish. We had great fun learning from our successes as well as our mistakes. Participants were encouraged to try different strategies, to see what worked (and what did not work) for themselves and for others in the group, and to make adjustments for each new race. We were thrilled to welcome a drop-in participant who was intrigued by our activities in the park. We also enjoyed that our discussions along the way included areas of design of interest to our attendees such as creating wastewater ponds and urban planning in Vancouver.
We are very grateful to NSG Central Vancouver for providing the funds to make these workshops possible.