The FOSTER Science Program

Program Objective

The fundamental objective of the FOSTER (Faculty Of Science Trips to Experience Real) Science Program is to incite curiosity in young people by connecting with them through real science, by means of hands-on, exploratory, and stimulating science activities. The intent is to pique students’ interest toward further education and future opportunities in science while promoting scientific literacy. Our vision extends beyond young people themselves and includes their mentors as motivators who will help to shape future choices.

An instructor in Biochemistry helps to maximize product isolation.

Who we are and what we do

The FOSTER Science Program involves the combined efforts of the departments of Biochemistry, Biology and Chemistry in the development of an educational outreach program within Memorial University’s Faculty of Science aimed at increasing hands-on experimental science learning opportunities, designed to complement curriculum objectives, for students at all grade levels across the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  At the heart of this program is the desire to unite the expertise and resources available at MUN with the young people in the community, with the benefit of their trusted mentors leading the way.  To this end and using a two-pronged approach, the FOSTER Science program offers:

  1. lab visit opportunities for public school groups and their teachers as well as for community groups and their mentors, and
  2. modifiable and curriculum targeted science teaching and learning resources intended for classroom use as led by teachers and mentors, and using household products. These resources are developed for the purpose of augmenting opportunities for classroom hands-on and experiential learning. These resources include Career Development video profiles of local scientists.

A group of students observe details of their isolated chloroplasts in Biology.

Program Growth and Development for 2022

Having to place personal visits to the university labs on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions for the spring seasons of 2020 and 2021, the FOSTER Science Program has broadened hands-on scientific teaching and learning opportunities beyond exclusively on-campus visits.    

For 2022, our program has centered on the goal of extending our program beyond the Avalon Peninsula region by developing science literacy opportunities for students and their teachers including:

  1. remote lab visit opportunities for public school groups and their teachers as well as for community groups and their mentors (Coming in Spring 2022), and
  2. the above mentioned science-based teaching resources which include hands-on experiments and interactive demonstrations, using household materials, available for teacher use and designed to enhance and reinforce curriculum outcomes outlined by NLESD. As well as, videos featuring local scientists and science careers.

Please feel free to investigate each aspect of the program using the links in the side menu.

Two students receive guidance from an Undergraduate student lab assistant during their study of a single displacement reaction in Chemistry.