Yorkies raised over $7,000 through various fundraising activities such as a walk-a-thon. This contribution went towards clean water for the Bachoo District in Ethiopia.
Learn by ‘clean water for all’ is so important, in Head Girl Abby’s own words:
Water is the source of life. Without access to clean water, life cannot begin or be sustained. Once people have access to clean water, sanitation/hygiene can improve, more optimal health can be achieved, and food can be grown. People then can focus on building and strengthening their communities. This is why I chose to nominate WaterCan, a local Canadian charity, for my school to sponsor. I support the initiative that WaterCan is taking to develop small scale projects which not only bring aid (water supply, sanitation etc) to communities, but also involve and educate those members of the communities, encouraging and enabling those who WaterCan is helping to also help themselves, thus creating positive long term and sustainable projects.
I live in an environment where people (including myself) have a strong sense of entitlement. We feel that we deserve to have all of our basic life needs available for our use. Access to clean water is taken for granted, and quite often, we tend to be wasteful and use an over abundance of water. Through the work of WaterCan, those who are not yet able to feel entitled to clean water can begin to have access to it; and those of us who take for granted the access to clean water are reminded of its importance, and of the unequal access to clean water between the world’s population. Through the work of WaterCan, this will hopefully lead each of us to be more water wise and inspire us to help more people have equal access to clean water.
On February 9th, the Grade 9 girls had the opportunity to visit the Michael Smith Laboratories and experience a day as scientists at UBC.
The program, hosted by the Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratories, allowed us to participate in fun and interesting activities. We were able isolate our own DNA and to explore the newly built Beaty Biodiversity Museum. During the past couple of months, the Grade 9’s have been studying the cell and how it functions. This field trip really helped us to understand how our bodies operate and allowed us to interact with “real” scientists at UBC.
The first activity involved isolating DNA from our cheeks. Using a combination of salt water, SDS, and ethanol, we were able to see our DNA. Everyone was very surprised to see what our DNA actually looked like in real life. It looked quite different in the test tube than in our science textbooks and models at school!
The second activity was exploring the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. This museum displays UBC’s natural history collections, which includes more than two million specimens. Among the exhibits were the second-largest fish collection in Canada, fossils, shells, mammals and plants from British Columbia and around the world. The entrance boasts a 26-foot blue whale skeleton. After the initial tour, we participated in a scavenger hunt and discovered facts about the exhibits from the staff.
Not only did we participate in workshops, but we also had the opportunity to listen to a presentation by Dr. Phil Hieter, a geneticist at the University. Dr. Hieter is a world-renowned scientist who is a leading researcher in gene mutations in yeast. Yeast has proven to be an excellent model for the study of mutations, as it is quite similar to a human cell. His research can be useful for developing strategies for cancer therapies.
Overall, the Grade 9 field trip to UBC was a great success. Not only did we have a great time as a class, we gained new information and experienced “a day in the life” of a scientist at UBC.