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Gander Academy

Students from Gander Academy joined thousands of other Canadians from 135 locations in attempting to set the World Record for the Largest Practical Science Lesson on October 12th 2012.

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Central New Brunswick Academy

Students from Central New Brunswick Academy joined thousands of other Canadians from 135 locations in attempting to set the World Record for the Largest Practical Science Lesson on October 12th 2012.

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Lakeview Public School

Students from Lakeview Public School joined thousands of other Canadians from 135 locations in attempting to set the World Record for the Largest Practical Science Lesson on October 12th 2012.

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Ontario Science Centre

Students at the Ontario Science Centre joined thousands of other Canadians from 135 locations in attempting to set the World Record for the Largest Practical Science Lesson on October 12th 2012.

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Science Funfest

Location: Booth Street Complex, Ottawa (Corner of Booth and Carling)
Date: Sunday, October 14, 2012 – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Target Audience: youth/families

Science Funfest is an open house event that takes place at Natural Resources Canada’s Booth Street Complex, at the corner of Carling Avenue and Booth Street in Ottawa. It’s a wonderful opportunity for children and anyone interested in science to engage in presentations and gain hands on science experience by participating in activities that will showcase the importance of science in a fun and interactive way. Last year’s event featured approximately 70 interactive exhibits on subjects ranging from ‘Slime’ to ‘Canada’s Forest Insects’.

You can: Bring your rocks and fossils for identification; go chocolate chip cookie mining; explore the secrets of the wind tunnel; see exotic insects; or have fun with DNA.  There is also face painting, balloons and much, much more!


Science Funfest

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Stars in Global Health

Grand Challenges Canada announces Stars in Global Health Request for Proposals. This unique program enables innovators in low- and lower-middle-income countries and Canada to develop their bold idea with big impact to improve global health conditions.

Awards are initially valued at $100,000 CAD for up to 12-18 months to demonstrate proof of concept of the idea.  Upon successful review of proposals at 12-18 months after the initial award is granted, scale-up grants of up to $1 million CAD with potential linkages to private sector investments may be awarded.

The deadline for proposals is September 5, 2012 3:00 p.m. EDT.

Previous examples have included:

  • A low-cost prosthetic knee that has the potential to be mass-produced and distributed to amputees in the developing world.
  • An inexpensive water filter made from the modified protein (keratin) in poultry feathers to remove arsenic from drinking water in India.
  • A $1000 digital X-ray detector to cost-effectively, accurately and rapidly detect tuberculosis (TB) in underserved populations.

Proposals must include a two-minute video explaining the target global health problem, the proposed solution, and why it is a creative, bold and innovative approach.  The purpose of the video is to engage the public in global health and demonstrate the creativity of innovators.  These videos will be posted on the Grand Challenges Canada website for public viewing and comment.

For more information about the Stars in Global Health Request for Proposals and eligibility criteria, please click HERE

Grand Challenges Canada is a unique and independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people in developing countries by integrating scientific, technological, business and social innovation. Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the Government of Canada through the Development Innovation Fund announced in the 2008 Federal Budget. Grand Challenges Canada works with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and other global health foundations and organizations to find sustainable long-term solutions to the most pressing health challenges. Grand Challenges Canada is hosted at the Sandra Rotman Centre.

For further information, please visit our website at

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West Nile virus – Protect Yourself!

West Nile virus is a virus mainly transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Mosquitoes transmit the virus after becoming infected by feeding on the blood of birds which carry the virus.

Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms or they have flu-like symptoms. Sometimes though, the virus can cause severe illness, resulting in hospitalization and even death so it is important to know the symptoms of illness related to infection and how to minimize your risk, especially if virus activity is reported in an area near you.

The Public Health Agency of Canada coordinates national surveillance and response to West Nile virus. The Agency works closely with Health Canada on the safety of the blood supply and on providing information and health advice to First Nations groups and federal employees. The Public Health Agency also works with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency and other government departments on the national response to West Nile virus.

West Nile virus – Protect Yourself!

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Canada’s State of the Oceans Report 2012

2012-08-21 – We are pleased to announce the release of Canada’s State of the Oceans Report, 2012.

This is the first time we have produced a plain language report for Canadians that gives a simultaneous overview of scientific knowledge about Canada’s three oceans.

Flowing from the Health of the Oceans initiative, the report summarizes information in the detailed scientific reports produced on the five Large Ocean Management Areas: the Pacific North Coast; the Beaufort Sea; the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, the Scotian Shelf and the Placentia Bay Grand Banks area. All of these longer reports are also available via a website we prepared for the Centre of Expertise on Ocean Reporting.

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Informing Research Choices: Indicators and Judgement

When it comes to grading science, expert judgment is as important as quantitative indicators, according to a new report co-authored by the former head of the National Science Foundation in the United States.

Expert judgment is essential to interpret measurable data, such as articles published and cited, or researcher and student demographics, that are often used by funding agencies to decide where to commit financial resources. The conclusion is contained in the Council of Canadian Academies report Informing Research Choices: Indicators and Judgment. The evidence-based report is based on a two-year assessment undertaken by an international expert panel convened by the Council on how to measure research performance.

“The surprise was that there was so much evidence and lessons learned on the issue of common sense, good judgment, and expert judgment coupled with indicators that are quantitative,” said Dr. Rita Colwell, chair of the panel.

It’s not enough, suggests Dr. Colwell, to examine the measurable indicators, such as trends of historical funding patterns or areas of current research interests, and assign funding based on them. Experts, and eminent scientists in academia and industry, need to be involved by informing the decision-making process of a funding agency.

Funding discovery research, argues Dr. Colwell, is multifaceted, complicated, and can’t be solved with simple equations.

“As we point out in the report, I think pretty effectively in a well documented way, there is no basic formula. You cannot simply say ‘well, right, we’ve got this formula and we’ll just plug in factors and voila.’ We’ve got to ensure that expert knowledge is part of the decision-making process,” says Dr. Colwell.

The importance of expert judgment is one of four principles for the use of scientific indicators defined by the panel. The other three are: the need for transparency, to ensure the integrity of an assessment process; context, defined by national science and research goals; and do no harm, that whatever method of measurement is chosen, adverse effects on future research potential should be minimized.

The Council of Canadian Academies, a not-for-profit organization that provides independent, expert assessments of the science that is relevant to matters of significant public interest, convened the panel at the request of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), which sought advice as it reviews its Delivery Grant Program for natural sciences and engineering.

Download the report here.

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Canada’s Icebreakers Head North

Ships and crews of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet return to the North this summer for another busy season in the Canadian Arctic.

The CCGS Terry Fox departed St. John’s on June 25, the CCGS Henry Larsen on June 27 and the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent is scheduled to sail from St. John’s on July 20, 2012.

All three ships will carry out icebreaking and vessel escort duties in the Arctic this summer as well as science and resupply missions to northern communities and remote stations.

Canada’s Icebreakers Head North

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