CAGIS Toronto

CAGIS is a fun and exciting science club for girls aged 7-16 (most Toronto membership is 8-14) with the mission to promote, encourage, and facilitate interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). We meet at the workplaces of women and men in STEM related fields on a monthly basis to learn about their area of science, and do fun, hands-on activities to help us understand, and have fun.

CAGIS Toronto meets on a monthly basis September through June to do fun hands-on activities in STEM. Some of our past events have included topics such as extracting DNA from bananas, building and testing bridges, and forensic science, CSI style. We also have a very broad view of science, so we enjoy exposing girls to fields they may not initially associate with science and technology, in addition to the basic sciences. CAGIS Toronto has a membership of ~50 girls, and 15-25 attend each event. Events last 1.5 hrs, and typically occur on weekends, but may sometimes be weeknights after school depending on the schedule of our presenter. Since we often visit the workplace of our presenter, our meeting location varies month to month (we try to keep the events centrally located), or sometimes we meet at the Lillian H. Smith Children's Library at College and Spadina when a workplace is not conducive to a group of girls. Notice of upcoming events is sent out by email in advance giving the topic, date, time, and location.

For more information about CAGIS Toronto, please email cagistoronto@gmail.com.

CAGIS Toronto events from the past 1.5 years:

  • Ecotones

  • We learned all about ecotones (areas of transition from one environment to another) by making quadrats in a forest, a field, and the ecotone between, and counting and examining the plant species in each!

  • Counterfeit Currency

  • We learned about how money is made, the new technology used on bills, and compared real and fake money to learn how to tell the difference!

  • Physics of Skating

  • We learned about the physics of figure skating with a physics professor and figure skater to demonstrate. We learned about friction, centre of balance, gravity and motion, and tested the principles ourselves on the ice!

  • Astronomy

  • We looked through telescopes at the moon, the Orion Nebula, and Saturn!

  • Geology

  • We learned about how rocks are made and destroyed in the rock cycle, and watched it in action with some fun experiments!

  • Forensic Science

  • We tested out our problem solving and investigation skills with this CSI event! We learned some basic investigation techniques, dusted for fingerprints, took our own fingerprints, found clues and narrowed down the evidence to solve a crime!

  • Genetics

  • We learned all about genetics and extracted DNA from bananas!

  • Health Jeopardy

  • We tested our knowledge about common health concerns like nutrition, physical activity, sleep, with a jeopardy game, and were surprised at the results!

  • Climate Change

  • We went to the movies to watch An Inconvenient Truth, then had a pool party and made our own greenhouses out of shoe boxes and plastic wrap to learn about the Greenhouse effect, and climate change.

  • Aerospace Engineering

  • We learned about wing design and thrust, saw the newly unveiled Avro Arrow (full size model), and added and removed rivets from a piece of a wing.

  • Earth Rangers

  • We a tour of the environmentally sustainable Earth Rangers building, which is on the leading edge of technology, and provides imaginative solutions to environmental problems, and met some Animal Ambassadors like a porcupine, and snake to learn a bit about the animals and their habitats.

  • Science of Dance

  • We learned about some of the visual imagery Olympic athletes and professional dancers use prior to big competitions or performances, and some of the neural circuitry involved. We then put some of those visualization techniques into action and used it while learning some basic flamenco!

    CAGIS Toronto is run by a dedicated and mixed group of volunteers from members to high school and university students, parents, teachers, and STEM professionals. If you are interested in joining our volunteer group, or if you would like to host a single event in your area of expertise, we would be happy to hear from you: cagistoronto@gmail.com.

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