ACTUA summer camp combines science and Inuit traditional knowledge in Nunavut

Week-long science camps are being held in eight Nunavut communities this summer, but they're more than that: organizers are incorporating traditional teachings, through local elders, in each camp.

Science camps run in 8 Nunavut communities this summer

Magnets, soil sampling, you name it; about 30 kids, ages seven to 12, are attending free week-long science camps in eight Nunavut communities this summer

It's part of a science camp program run by ACTUA, a not-for-profit organization that aims to empower youth through science.

Nunavut is a hotbed for scientific research, and camp instructors are hoping this will inspire kids to consider scientific career paths.

But they say they also incorporate traditional Inuit knowledge in the curriculum.

"We try to get an elder to come to each camp," said Stephanie Hill, one of the instructors. "Last week we were fortunate to have an elder come talk to us about plants, so she talked about the medicinal benefits." 

Science activities at the camp include health science experiments, putting together electronic circuits, and building robots.

The camp also offers computer science workshops through a partnership with Google.

"It's all about encouraging youth to go from consumers of technology to producers of technology," said Hill.

The most popular experiment, however, was building home-made rockets.

"You get to, like, blast it off, and then see how high it goes, like see how far," said a smiling seven-year old Cymonie Kadlutsiak.

The Iqaluit camp wraps up this Friday. Next week, it will move on to Qikiqtarjuaq.