Cool science moves Nunavik

Inukjuak hosts student science camp


Don’t be alarmed if you happen to see a rocket parachuting down from the sky in Inukjuak.

It won’t be a wayward NASA rocket, but a demonstration of how rockets work done by participants in Nunavik’s annual science camp.

For this week and next, 28 secondary school students from all over Nunavik are in Inukjuak for their annual summer science camp.

This year’s edition, called “Notions in Motion” or, in French, “Notions en Mouvement,” explores environmental science, multi-media, optics and chemistry.

“It’s to encourage young people to get involved in science and to give them the chance to explore science,” says Elias Moukannis, a pedagogical counsellor with the Kativik School Board, who has coordinated the camp for the past three years.

During the camp, students live at Nunavik’s technical and vocational school, Nunavimmi Pigiursavik. One week of the camp is in English and another in French.

The students, who come from Secondary One to Four classes (Grades 7 to 10 outside Quebec), are chosen for the camp on the basis of their interest, class attendance, and other criteria set by their communities or schools.

Each camp includes a week of non-stop workshops and projects, such as taking photos for the annual camp Web site, as well as excursions and exchanges with elders.

“Every year the students cry at the airport and don’t want to leave. When they arrive, they’re shy but when they leave they’re so sad,” Moukannis said.

“I learned that I want to learn,” was one student’s parting comment last year.

The camp, which costs about $130,000 to mount, receives support from the Kativik Regional Government, the Kativik Regional Development Council, First Air and Air Inuit.

Moukannis is also coordinator of the KSB’s new language policy that is focussing on the development of a science curriculum in Inuttitut.

The new policy is intended to boost the use of Inuttitut in the classroom.

In Grade 3, team teaching will ensure that students receive at least 50 per cent of their classes in Inuttitut. A maximum of 50 per cent of teaching will be conducted in French or English.

The subjects to be taught in Inuttitut include social studies, language, personal and social development, math, science and religion.

Depending on local resources, students will take art, drama, music, physical education and computer either in Inuttitut, French or English.

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