Monday, May 14, 2012


What a beautiful day to be back at the Nakasuk School:  sunny and +2C!  All this week we will be working with four classes that participated in the Student-Researchers Atmospheric Collaboration: Keith’s grade 1, Nadine’s grade 3,  Ida’s grade 3 and Alison’s grade 3 students.  We were flattered that many students remembered Ashley and Camille – thanks!

At the beginning of each period, students reintroduced themselves and described their experiences with either a word or a short phrase.  We heard a lot of “awesome”, “fun” and even “I like CANDAC” statements.   After that, as scientists often do, we had a discussion about the data collection methods and the encountered difficulties.  Many classes began by taking measurements together as a class, and then recorded the data in groups of 3 or 4 as students gained confidence with their instruments.  In each case, however, there were challenges that young scientists had to face.  They had to battle cold weather and strong winds, properly make thermometer readings, determine the wind direction using a compass and a wind sock and even deal with a missing instrument. 

Everyone agreed that it would be great to share the acquired data.   One way they learned to do this was creating pictographs – graphs made out of pictures.  Students colored the pictures of thermometers and anemometers and then worked together to organize them chronologically.   

There are also other cool ways to share data and we’ll explore them in the days to come!  

- Your outreach team

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Excited to be at Iqaluit!

Hello everyone!

My name is Konstantin Baibakov, a CANDAC researcher at the University of Sherbrooke in the province of Québec.  I’m currently studying small particles suspended in the air (called aerosols) at the PEARL High Arctic station.  These particles play an important role in the climate of our planet.    We perform our measurements during the Polar Night by observing the stars.  I can tell you that  starry nights in the Arctic are truly special and beautiful!

I’m a new addition to the CANDAC outreach team and I’m really excited to be at the Nakasuk School together with Ashley and Camille this week.  I’m looking forward to hear all about the temperature and wind measurements the Nakasuk students have been carefully collecting over the past months!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Clear and hazy sky conditions

Source: Ashley Kilgour
Date: May 10, 2012

Source: Ashley Kilgour
Date: May 3, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fog in Toronto

At 7:00am this morning, the visibility in Toronto was only 0.2km! The fog was so thick that you could only see objects about 200m away clearly. By 10:00am the fog had cleared away and you could see objects about 19km away clearly.

This photo was taken at the corner of College St. and Spadina Ave. at 1:50pm today. Does it look foggy or hazy to you?

Source: Ashley Kilgour

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Windy day in Toronto

Wow, yesterday sure was windy in Toronto! Environment Canada announced a wind warning due to winds of over 60km/hour. Many trees were knocked down. One tree close to West Prep. on Fairleigh Crescent landed on a parked car; below is a photo of the tree branches that fell on the car. The second photo, taken by CityNews Toronto, shows debris being blown around a Toronto street.

Did anyone have trouble walking home from school yesterday? I did!

Source: Ashley Kilgour


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can you name this instrument?!

Hello student-researchers!

This in an instrument on the roof of our building (the Physics building at the University of Toronto). What do you think this instrument measures? Can you name this instrument? Do you see anything else interesting in the photo?

Hope to hear from you soon!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Warm weather in Toronto!

We are experiencing an unseasonably warm day here in Toronto. The temperature is +16 degrees Celsius with gusts of wind at about 50 km/h. How is the weather at Pickering College, Nakasuk School and West Prep? Does anyone know why we are experiencing such warm temperatures in Southern Ontario?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Home-made thermometers

Are there any tricks to making the home-made thermometers work?  One of our teachers tried it here at school but cannot get the liquid to move up the straw. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Project launch at Nakasuk School!

Ashley, Camille, and Zen visited Nakasuk School from Monday, February 20th to Wednesday, February 21st to launch the Student-Researchers Atmospheric Collaboration with students in grades 1, 2, and 3. Nakasuk students were very interested in the hands-on demonstrations and used scientific methodology to explain different concepts. Grade 1 and 2 students learned how to make temperature measurements using a thermometer, and also got to build their own homemade thermometer in the classroom. Grade 3 students learned how wind is formed and will be using an anemometer, windsock, and compass to make wind speed and wind direction measurements. Students will be monitoring the weather in Iqaluit and sharing their observations with CANDAC scientists and students at other participating schools via an online project database. We are looking forward to collaborating with Nakasuk this year!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Project launch at Pickering College!

Ashley, Felicia, Keven, and Xiaoyi visited Pickering College on Thursday, February 9th to launch the Student-Researchers Atmospheric Collaboration. We were excited to visit Pickering College because we knew that we would see many familiar faces from last year's project. Students demonstrated a great understanding of the science of weather, and shared their thoughts about where to make the best weather observations. This year, students are particularly excited about partnering with students at Nakasuk School in Iqaluit to share and discuss their findings. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Pickering College this year!!

Project launch at West Preparatory Junior Public School!

Ashley, Felicia, Niall, and Camille visited West Prep. on Tuesday, February 7th and Ashley, Ashley J, Rodica, and Kim visited West Prep. on Wednesday, February 8th to launch the Student-Researchers Atmospheric Collaboration. West Prep. students impressed CANDAC scientists with their understanding of Earth's atmosphere, as well as their keen interest in the ozone layer. Kindergarten and grade 2 students learned how to make temperature measurements using a thermometer, while grade 4-6 students learned how to make wind measurements using an anemometer and windsock. Students will be monitoring the weather in their region and sharing their observations with CANDAC scientists and students at other participating schools via an online project database. We are looking forward to collaborating with West Prep. this year!!