Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Scientist in Residence Program excites, inspires and supports elementary school children and teachers to discover the world through hands-on science. The Program’s mission is to inspire children with extraordinary science. Scientists collaborate with teachers throughout the school year and engage children in the process of science through six or more visits in classrooms and on field trips. Through these direct interactions, scientists are positive role models, teachers enhance their comfort and abilities to teach science, and students develop positive attitudes and have fun while they learn about diverse aspects of science. Children gain skills such as keen observation, critical thinking, and thoughtful communication. These are essential life skills as well as science skills.

Lisa Tautz, B.Sc., is the Managing Director of the Scientist in Residence Program, and Peggy Griesdale, PDP, M.Sc., is the Associate Director. They collaborate with Ms. Nancy Brennan, Associate Superintendent of Learning Services, Barbara Anderson and others at the Vancouver Board of Education to deliver the Program to Vancouver schools. Paige Axelrood, Ph.D., is the Founder and Chair of the Scientist in Residence Program. Dr. Valerie Overgaard, former Associate Superintendent of Learning Services, Vancouver Board of Education, provided invaluable guidance and collaboration for Program delivery from 2004 through 2012. Since 2004, 172 teachers, 22 scientists in residence, and more than 4,229 students in kindergarten through grade 7 have participated in the program at 57 elementary schools in the Vancouver School District, plus one elementary school in the West Vancouver School District.

The current scientists in residence have M.Sc. or Ph.D. degrees in fields including botany, geology, environmental sciences, marine biology, oceanography and genetics. The scientists are researchers, instructors, project managers, and consultants.

The successes of the Program are directly related to the involvement of our passionate, creative, and dedicated scientists and teachers, their collaborative work, and the engaged and energized elementary school students. Please visit our Gallery to learn about their experiences and to catch glimpses of the program through photos and students’ drawings. Program delivery in elementary schools is highlighted in the following articles and a radio interview.