We absolutely loved the trapeze training! Every single one of us tried it out and some of us went at least 4 times. There was an instructor present who showed us how to hang by our knees and do a flip off the bar. She used the opportunity to teach us about several physics topics (like center of mass, pendulum motion, and momentum) and how they apply to the body.
We really enjoyed the Butterfly survey we did at the Botanical Gardens as well. Dr. Larrivee, who works in the Insectarium was super nice and offered to give us a behind-the-scenes type view of the research they do. We went into the field with him and his assistant and collected data on the butterfly species in the area. He showed us how and where to find different species and how to hold them without damaging their wings. He also helped us interpret the data we found to make conclusions about ecological stats.
Bee Club Visit!
The visit to the Bee Club (apicultural association) was well worth the trek out to MacDonald campus. The members were so amazing, 4 different grad students and a Ph.D. student all went out of their way to give us personal presentations on their research. We got to wear real bee farming gear and use a “smoker” to get up close with the bees. Best of all we got to eat as much fresh honey as we wanted straight out of the beeswax.
Our chemistry day was probably our number one day. We spent the morning at Dr. Haffenden’s labs where we got to do a bunch of experiments with food chemistry. We got a tour of the labs before they stuck us in an actual flavor testing lab room where we got to create our very own flavor of slushies and truffles.
In the afternoon we visited the McGill Chemistry Outreach program. We got to see the labs and classes and met with some students and teachers. We got all dressed up in lab coats and goggles and ended up learning about the chemistry of combustion which means a lot of colorful flames and explosions, including testing the basic ingredients of industrial grade fireworks!
McGill’s Inorganic chemistry professor Audrey Moore does research on magnetic nanoparticles. Professor Moore uses impressive words like nanocatalysis, imidazolium, hydrogenation, and mono-dispersion—but she’s so smart she can make her research easily understood by the rest of us.
McGill’s Lyman Entomological is the second largest insect collection in Canada and includes 2.8 million bugs! They even have a live insect laboratory.
With bee populations declining around the world, the McGill Apicultural Association is devoted to increasing awareness and interest in bees. They look after bee hives that are set up on the McGill campus and teach courses on how to care for your own honeybees.
Astrophysics and Aerospace Engineering
McGill astrobiology professor Hojatollah Vali investigates certain biomarkers that could suggest ancient biological activity in extraterrestrial materials. One of the courses Professor Vali teaches even includes a unit that explores whether ufo sightings are science or legend!
With Montreal being the world’s fourth largest center of aerospace manufacturing, McGill’s Institute for Aerospace Engineering is an amazing place to get a look at what exactly “rocket science” is really all about.
Professor Reinhard Hesse studies deep sea geology. He investigates giant rock samples drilled from the ocean floor, looking for tiny microscopic creatures in the sediments.
Ingrid Birker is the curator of the invertebrate fossils and plants at Redpath Museum. Some of the programs she runs at the museum are so popular she’s gotten calls from people across the country wanting to attend!