Stephen Jones: Sharing passion for research science in state-of-the-art lab
Year: 2018 – Province: Manitoba
Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in STEM
Youth BIOlab Jeunesse (Albrechtsen Research Centre)
St. Boniface Hospital
351 Tache Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R2H 2A6
Subjects and grades taught: Science and Health, grades 5–12
Stephen Jones' classroom is a 280-m2 (3,000 sq. ft.), state-of-the-art laboratory located in a hospital. Each year, Steve, who has a background in medical research, works with 6,500 students—50,000 since the lab opened in 2005—on science education, research and health literacy activities.
Steve's long-time goal has been to help youth develop their own meaningful connections with cutting-edge science and technology, not rote-memorize facts. He set up the BIOlab to be a rich and immersive scientific environment, with digital technologies integrated to connect students to STEM.
STEM in the Classroom
- Shares hands-on approach to science, using the equipment and facilities found in the most-advanced modern labs: students use these tools to work with real cells and real tissues to gain an understanding of scientific research and its techniques
- Provides opportunities for students to satisfy their own curiosity through real science: students design experiments to explore important health issues—caffeine stimulation and smoking, for example—using bone marrow stem cells they isolate from rat bones and keep alive in the lab
- Is extending the reach of the lab to students in remote communities, including First Nations: Steve installed videoconferencing equipment to share learning with faraway classes and is mentoring 12 students in 6 communities as they prepare for the Manitoba First Nations Science Fair
- Wrote and co-produced a series of videos for Manitoba Education in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society outlining the concepts of medical physics behind technologies such as x-rays and ultrasound; physics teachers across the province now use the videos with their Grade 12 classes
- Supported a local high school as it changed its entire Grade 9 program to project-based learning, working directly with educators to develop a unit on reproduction for 60 students
- Presents yearly workshops to science teachers, helping them solidify their skills and knowledge, and has taught future biology teachers in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba
- Has been honoured by the St. Boniface Hospital and the provincial science teachers association for his contributions to science education in Manitoba
"[Steve] is a hands-on, dedicated teacher who has made a tremendous impact on our students—giving them the space and opportunity to ask questions, helping to learn how to obtain answers, and showing them that they can 'do science.'"
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