Science 101: Lecturer Testimonials


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Dr. Jaymie Matthews, Physics & Astronomy

"To learn is to live, as much as to breathe is to live. And if learning is essential to living, then Science 101 is one of the liveliest, most life-affirming experiences on Earth. Or possibly on any planet in the Galaxy. (And if anyone is qualified to compare Earth with other planets, it should be a rocket scientist like me, who hunts for alien worlds in his spare time between watching The Big Bang Theory reruns.)When I say lively and life-affirming, I'm speaking for myself. This is how Science 101 makes ME feel, as an educator, as a scientist, and most importantly, as a human being. Universities like UBC are centres of learning and discovery. Sometimes it's easy to lose sight of that amidst the many different priorities and complications that exist at UBC - an academic 'city' spread over almost 1000 acres and with a peak population of about 50,000 people. But the vision of curiosity, learning and discovery comes into sharp focus whenever Science 101 is in session. Everyone is there to learn for the sake of learning. People have many impressions of the Downtown Eastside and the people who live in your neighbourhood. And there are many, usually quite different, impressions of UBC and the people who work and study in my neighbourhood. Thanks in large part to Science 101, my impressions have changed. I've seen how passionate students from the Downtown Eastside can bring to UBC a purity of purpose, that reminds me why I became a scientist and an educator, and reminds me why I'm lucky to be a human being. Not everyone gets to witness how a tiny extension of the Downtown Eastside becomes a tiny oasis of human curiosity on campus two nights a week for a few months in the summer. I'm one of the lucky ones. Thanks for welcoming me into your Science 101 class."

Dr. Peter Newbury, Physics & Astronomy

"In August 2012, I began a new job at the University of California, San Diego. The job application required I write about my contributions to diversity and I happily and proudly wrote about Science 101. One activity I am particularly proud of does not address diversity of gender or culture, but socio-economic hardship. Each year, I volunteer an evening to give an astronomy presentation to UBC's Science 101 community. This program offers people living in Vancouver's poorest neighborhood the chance to enroll in a 4-month series of twice-weekly presentations, field trips and other activities given by UBC faculty. These adults are just as curious, attentive and intelligent as any but poverty has denied them the opportunity to seek a higher education. I whole-heartedly participate in, and strongly endorse, these kinds of outreach activities that reach beyond the campus boundaries."

Mona Kwong, BSc(Pharm), MSc, Pharmacy

"There was a general call out for volunteers to teach in Science 101 over 10 years ago when I was as a graduate student at UBC in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. I had parents and mentors who engaged me in Science at a young age, always making it fun and interesting. They believed strongly in giving forward - Science 101 was a place where I could start giving forward while contributing back to my alma mater. I continue to be involved in teaching in Science 101 because of the students - they are enthusiastic, inquisitive, and curious, characteristics of active learners. Community engagement is integral to enriching all our lives by giving opportunities to learn from one another - Science 101 provides a place for this to happen. Current and past students continue to enrich my life through sharing of their experiences and through their questions and I thank them for this opportunity."

Dr. Eugene Barsky, Reference librarian, Sciences and Engineering

"Being involved with Science 101 for the last six years, I can say this it is an amazing experience. The enthusiasm and engagement of the student is contagious. This is how we can make a difference in our community."

Dr. Julian Davies, Microbiology and Immunology

“It is always a rewarding pleasure to teach in Science 101, it is never a chore. The students are interested, receptive and ask questions. There is no other class like it, that I know of!"