Destination Exploration to offer virtual clubs in January

Destination Exploration (DE) is meeting the need for STEM activities and learning by relaunching their after-school clubs in January. Students will be able to perform science experiments, explore robotics, do math games and puzzles, learn online technology and how to build systems.

InnovateHER, an all-girls club for students in Grades 4 to 7, will meet Wednesday evenings. The FriYAY Club will meet Friday afternoons and is also for students in Grades 4 to 7. In addition, the Arconic STEM Club is shifting online. This club, for students in Grades 6 to 9 all over southern Alberta, gives students their own technology tools like the Sphero robotic ball and Arduino, an electronic prototyping platform, to learn with and explore along with their instructors. Registration opens on Friday, Dec. 4. Call 403-329-2706 or register online through the new Community Programs page.

The team at Destination Exploration has worked very hard to continue to offer fun, engaging and hands-on learning experiences to our participants in this new virtual environment,” says Valerie Archibald, director of youth outreach. “We are excited to launch new clubs for Girls only and on Friday afternoons, so participants can keep learning, building new skills and friendships.

Destination Exploration was able to quickly pivot to the virtual world following the restrictions put in place in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They offered At Home with DE to deliver STEM activities online three times a week. More than 2,700 people engaged with the program.

In the summer months, DE offered blended programming that included in-person and online events and activities. Three weeks of camps were held in-person — the first in their new facility in Science Commons. They also teamed up with Horns Recreation, the Music Conservatory and the uLethbridge Art Gallery to create MiniU, a free online version of favourite summer camps combined into one.

When the school year started, DE looked for opportunities to expand its engagement within the community. They partnered with the Carmangay Library to offer in-person programs to their after-school clubs. With the Lethbridge Public Library, DE offered online sessions for young people to learn how to create a design and prepare it for 3D printing. The students’ designs were printed using DE’s 3D printers and given to them.

In addition, Destination Exploration is offering virtual learners within the Holy Spirit Catholic School Division some exciting hands-on science workshops to keep learning exciting. These workshops offer students curriculum-tied activities that allow them to explore science from the safety of their own homes while building, exploring and experimenting with ideas and concepts based on the topics they are learning in class.