The 2nd Annual Odyssey Symposium was held November 22, 2008 to provide valuable resources for the classroom, foster collaboration and generate new ideas for innovative Odyssey activities. Over 90 delegates attended this year’s networking event from Odyssey Schools as far north as Mackenzie BC and as far East as London, Ontario. With 10 new schools joining in 2008, the Odyssey Schools Network now encompassing 60 schools covering 15 School Districts, engaging over 25,000 students in science enrichment opportunities.

Richmond School District hosted the event at one of their Odyssey Schools, Steveston-London Secondary. Superintendent Bruce Beairsto provided thought-provoking closing remarks about the importance of “inspiring confidence before competence” in the science curriculum
Keynote presentations included Pacific CRYSTAL’s project that promotes science, math and engineering literacy through innovative, hands-on activities for students. Michael Smith Labs and Science World introduced an exciting new initiative that links world-class scientists with teachers to develop practical classroom resources. NSERC and BC Innovation Council provided an overview of science outreach resources for teachers. Several Odyssey Schools showcased their unique programs and shared how to overcome some of the challenges. A dynamic team of students from Dr. Charles Best Secondary highlighted their Best Math Camps – a program for inspiring students led by students – which fosters important mentoring and leadership skills.

The Continuous Improvement Workshops examined diverse topics ranging from space exploration, marine ecology and science Olympics - to interactive demonstrations of plate tectonics, the human genome project and robotics for the classroom. Odyssey Teachers acted as catalysts by sharing their expertise and stimulating creative ideas. Mitchell Odyssey Foundation Board Members hosted the individual workshops and helped facilitate lively indepth discussions. Networking cards encouraged delegates to exchange ideas and turn Odyssey ideas into actions back in the classroom.

Following the presentation of Odyssey Outstanding Achievements Awards, attendees continued to share their experiences during the Wine & Cheese Networking Event. Thanks to everyone who participated and helped make Odyssey Symposium ’08 another resounding success.

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