Former dean of science at Medicine Hat College (MHC), and owner of Hyperion Research Ltd, Dr. Peter Wallis has always been committed to helping students engage with science. In particular, he has shown a passion for getting students involved in the regional science fair; and through a $5,000 donation he continues to show commitment to the subject.
“Peter has played an integral part in bringing science into the spotlight and proving it to be a feasible career path for students,” says Tracy Stroud, development officer with the foundation office. “And because of his long years of service and commitment to the college, as well as volunteering to outside organizations in the science community, his donation has grown. Staff, faculty and colleagues have all stepped up and contributed to the Science Fair Fund in honour of his retirement.”
The purpose of the fund is to promote to students the value of participating in local science fairs through the Science Experience 101 program, which is managed by the Division of Science and Health at MHC.
“Peter was very active in helping the college expand its reach into our communities through the Science Experience 101 program. Last year alone 20 schools in the region were visited promoting the benefits of joining science fair to over 1,000 students,” says Stroud.
Under his leadership the college has also teamed up with outside organizations including Praxis, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), and the South East Alberta Watershed Alliance to create a working group that helps to generate awareness and participation in the Southeast Alberta Kiwanis Regional Science Fair and the Science Olympics. This fund will help in ensuring those efforts can continue.
Wallis explains that the Science Experience program and local science fair have benefits for both the students and the region, “The science fair encourages an entrepreneurial spirit, because we’re teaching students how to work independently on their own projects and set their own goals. Once a student pulls that off they realize there is a lot more they could be doing, it gives them confidence and an entrepreneurial background. It also teaches them presentation skills, scientific method and data analysis [which make them employable].”
The hope is that through their experience and through mentorship and guidance by MHC, they will attend college and leave highly engaged, skilled and key contributors to the science and research industry.
Stroud mentions that companies or individuals interested in contributing to the Science Fair Fund can do so by connecting with the foundation team. “Whether you are looking to honour Peter’s legacy or to show support for this educational cause, we want to hear from you.” Tracy Stroud can be reached 403.502.8997 or firstname.lastname@example.org and Jennifer Kerslake at 403.529.3897 or email@example.com.
For more information on the Division of Science and Health visit www.mhc.ab.ca.
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