Headshot of Rebecca Timmons.

Helping youth get excited about science

June 6, 2022
Author: Rachel Stern

What it’s like to be a Let’s Talk Science ambassador

Rebecca Timmons loves helping kids get excited about science. For the past few months, the fourth-year VIU Fisheries and Aquaculture student has been working as a Let’s Talk Science site coordinator, which is coordinated out of the Deep Bay Marine Field Station.

“It’s important to share that science is for everyone. No matter what challenges one faces, science is something that everyone can do, enjoy and observe,” says Rebecca. “Science is fun, it’s always a good time to share our interests with the youth in our community.”

Let’s Talk Science is a national charitable organization that is committed to helping children and youth, ages 3-17, learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by providing free programming for youth and educators. VIU joined Let’s Talk Science in January and Deep Bay became the sixth outreach site in British Columbia. Rebecca works alongside faculty advisor Dr. Eve Stringham, VIU's Dean of Science and Technology, and Olivia Alexander, Public Education Co-lead for Deep Bay Marine Field Station, who manage the day-to-day operations. 

Rebecca decided to attend VIU because of the hands-on learning experiences offered through the Fisheries and Aquaculture program. Her professors have been a huge influence and helped spark her passion for science and the environment.

She says one example is when Dr. Tim Green, VIU’s Canada Research Chair Shellfish Health and Genomics and a Fisheries and Aquaculture Professor, shared interesting facts regarding selective breeding for future-proofing the shellfish industry.

“Learning about macro and micro algae has also been a huge highlight as well as learning about a range of marine invertebrates," says Rebecca.

One of the reasons Rebecca wanted to become a Let’s Talk Science site coordinator was to get out of her comfort zone.

“I struggle with anxiety and public speaking and this opportunity has greatly pushed my limits and become more comfortable with new things,” says Rebecca.

The position has also allowed her to gain new skills, as site coordinators can attend regional and national conferences. Rebecca attended a virtual regional conference from February 3-6 and learned planning skills, how to manage and work with volunteers and educators, and about engaging in science activities she can lead.

Rebecca says the most rewarding aspect of the job is just seeing young students get excited about science.

“To see their faces light up when a fun experiment goes well is amazing, and if we impact even just one youth and get them interested in the exciting and evolving field of STEM that would be amazing,” she says.

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