The renewed school building will bring “phenomenal” improvements to an already stellar science program at UTS, says Jenny Pitt-Lainsbury, UTS Head of Student Support and Student Innovation.
“What we hear from people outside UTS who see our students is the lab skills they develop here are exceptional,” says Jenny, who was a UTS Science teacher. “UTS students regularly receive accolades and perform at the top of science Olympiads, but we are really excited about how the new labs will improve the practicalities, allowing students to work more efficiently and accomplish even more.”
From the time Jenny arrived at UTS in 2004 until 2018, UTS had a student selected to represent Canada in the International Chemistry Olympiad every year. She also helped to level the playing field, encouraging more girls to enter the competition. Jenny remains heavily involved in the Science Olympiad program: she’s the National Examiner for the Canadian Chemistry Contest, a mentor for the Canadian Chemistry Olympiad and a National Coordinator for the Junior Science Olympiad.
At UTS, science places a huge emphasis on error-analysis, she says. “We really try to encourage our students in science labs to take the risks to make the mistakes and figure out what their errors are. Why are you deviating from what is expected? How can you refine the process?”
It’s about letting go of the fear of simply needing to have the right answer. That space where students go beyond the recipe and take those risks is where students can really advance in science, she says.
Science can be mesmerizing with all the assumptions we have about what we control and what we understand about the world. “It can help you understand the boundaries where you need to accept the fact that things will be different from what you expect, and it’s not that you’re losing control. And as you understand that it becomes very exciting and really engenders that curiosity and open-mindedness that can lead to great things.”
and taking those risks that lead to progress.”
Head of Student Support and Student Innovation