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Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ivar Mendez

Dr. Ivar Mendez

Dr. Ivar Mendez is the Fred H. Wigmore Professor and Provincial Head of the Department of Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Health Authority. Dr. Mendez received his MD and PhD in Anatomy from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario where he also completed his post-graduate training in Neurosurgery. His research Fellowship was done at the Department of Medical Cell Research, University of Lund, Sweden. From 2000 to 2012, Dr. Mendez was the Chairman and Founding Member of the Halifax Brain Repair Centre, the most comprehensive neuroscience research institute in Atlantic Canada. Dr. Mendez was the Head of the Division of Neurosurgery at Dalhousie University and the QEII Health Sciences Centre for more than a decade. As a Clinician/Scientist, Dr. Mendez’ research focus is in functional neurosurgery, brain repair, stem cells, robotic neurosurgery and computerized systems in neurosurgical applications. He is recognized internationally as an expert in his field, having over 200 international and national presentations as well as over 200 scientific publications. For the past decade he has worked in the use of remote-presence robots for medical care in neurosurgery. In 2002, Dr. Mendez and his team performed the first long distance telementoring neurosurgery in the world and in 2013, he reported the first experience in remote programming for neuromodulation devices. In 2010, Dr. Mendez was awarded a Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award and was named one of 10 most Influential Hispanic Canadians for his clinical research and humanitarian contributions. Dr. Mendez also received the Health Canada – 2011 Contribution to the Improvement of the Health of Canadians Award and The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 2014, St. Mary’s University in Nova Scotia awarded Dr. Mendez a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) degree for his contribution to Neuroscience and was inducted as a fellow into the Canadian Academy of Health Science (CAHS). In 2016, he received the Government of Canada Public Service Award of Excellence for the use of remote presence robotic technology to improve healthcare in the North. The topic for Dr. Mendez’s keynpote address will be “Disruptive Technologies in Healthcare”.

Current Presentations

Applications of Fields in Physics 30
Presentation of the Perimeter Institute Lessons and Activities associated with the Fields outcomes of Physics 30. This workshop will provide hands-on learning through demonstration and will supply examples of materials that can be used directly in the classroom with your students. There will also be an information portion that will direct you to other Perimeter Institute Resources and describe some of the Teacher Outreach opportunities available through the institute.

You Be The Chemist Programs and Essential Elements Workshop
Chemical Educational Foundation
Participants will learn about the free educational programs for grades K-8 available from the Chemical Educational Foundation and participate in a Essential Elements workshop in which their will experience application of the 5E Learning Model using a selection of the hands on activities developed by CEF. More details can be found at

Embedding Tech in Science
Technology in a science classroom can help students to visual abstract ideas, apply complex concepts, collect data in experimentation, use simulations to practice labs in a safe way, etc. In this workshop you will have the opportunity to experience various tech tools that you might use in your classroom or beyond the walls of the classroom.

Technologies and Animal Welfare SaskMilk
This session will be used to explain the importance of animal welfare and how we use technology to maximize cow health and comfort. The presentation will start with a sit-down PowerPoint presentation ( we can accommodate ~40 people) followed by a tour of the facility. The more people there are, the more difficult the catwalk tour becomes, so we would be willing to do multiple sessions to decrease the group size if possible.

Evidence for Climate Change
Evidence for Climate Change is an inquiry-based educational resource. Hands-on activities focused on heat, carbon dioxide, and thermal expansion explore the essential science behind climate change. This resource from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, has activities that can be used in either Math and Science to introduce students to the observational data for climate change and the climate models that describe the principal factors involved. Opportunities are provided throughout the resource for students to consider how they contribute to both the problem and the solution.

National Geographic Educator Certification Program and the Grovesnor Fellowship
National Geographic has a whole department at their headquarters in Washington for educators. They provide an online education certification program which introduces teachers to the National Geographic Learning Framework that focuses lessons on knowledge, skills, and attitudes of our local, regional, and global world. Through this program, teachers are introduced to a massive educational resource library and a large online community of teachers who share ideas and classroom experiences. This educational program and community is geared to all grade levels and subject areas, not just science. I will introduce participants to all the educational programs run by National Geographic which are free to teachers. In this work shop, I will also introduce you to the Grovesnor Teacher Fellowship, a collaboration between National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions that endows teachers with travel experiences which will shape their teaching and impact their students through the experience. I will tell you about my 8 day adventure to the Galapagos Islands as a Grovesnor Teacher Fellow.

Magnifying Curiosity – Foldscopes
A glass sphere is an example of an object that can magnify and bring us closer to viewing and understanding the microscopic world first-hand. So is a water droplet. Foldscopes are inexpensive, cardboard origami microscopes that use a glass bead as a magnifier, and can magnify over 100x. The simple yet effective technology allows for connections to biology/life sciences, physics/optics, as well as an exemplar of engineering/design. Low-cost “frugal” technologies like Foldscopes can allow students to access and explore the otherwise hidden world around them, whether in a classroom, home school environment, or on a field trip. This experience can be further enhanced by interacting with digital technologies and social media to collaborate with others through an online community. Workshop participants will be given an overview presentation of this technology, followed by a discussion of ideas and applications. We will then use pre-assembled Foldscopes to view prepared slides, followed by the opportunity to assemble individual Foldscope kits to make and view (and share) their own slides.

Some from London, Some from Rome… , – Add Some Classroom Science from Home!
Would you like your students to explore and discover amazing interdisciplinary connections while learning the “queen of the sciences” Mathematics, or Physics, or Computer Science? Then consider well rounded threefold session. This session discusses arc midpoint computation, pre-calculus concept/topic developed in Saskatchewan in 2010, with special emphasis on its sizable capacity for enriching crosscurricula learning. Along with conceptual foundations, presentation includes relevant system of applied examples to demonstrate that the topic, totally accessible for Grade 11 students, significantly simplifies commonly used strategies for solving wide spectrum of real-world problems that involve circular settings. The session is aimed at Mathematics 20/30, Physics 30, and Computer Science 20/30 teachers, it provides participants with excellent resources that will enhance in-class learning and students’ research projects. Presentation materials are perfectly aligned and integrated with the curricula learning outcomes.

Achieving Deep Learning in Science Class
Most students experience science as a foreign culture; they are outsiders in a program that tends to screen for future scientists and engineers. To most students, science is something to be endured. The intersection of science and technology with society and the environment (STSE) provides the bridge between the things students are interested in, and the curriculum we are required to teach. Research shows that if students are interested in a topic and are engaged in classroom learning, their chances of academic success are significantly improved. LTS has free resources to help teachers motivate students to learn science by linking to their interests. Bring laptop or mobile device.

Exploring science-related career paths: Resources and strategies for science teachers
Research indicates that most students recognize that a background in science/STEM can lead to well-paying jobs. However, more than half (52%) do not plan to study for a career that involves science. Few students know of the variety of careers that require or benefit from a science background. Through a combination of hands-on and discussion, participants will learn about Let’s Talk Science career resources and how these resources help address outcomes in the SK science curriculum. Teachers will also gain strategies to incorporate careers into their science classroom. Participants will also be able to test out our newest 360 virtual reality STEM videos that allow students to “step into” a STEM career. Participants should bring a laptop or mobile device if possible.

Biotechnology in Your Classroom
Agriculture in the Classroom

Join Agriculture in the Classroom SK to learn about hands-on activities and resources highlighting biotechnologies in the agriculture sector.

Geological Sciences and Saskatchewan’s Mineral Resources
The goal of this session is to provide an introduction to the major topics covered in geological sciences. We will have an opportunity for teachers to have hands-on time with rocks and minerals and learn the skills to identify them. They will also learn about what resources Saskatchewan has and why it is one of the most significant mining districts in the world. Links to lesson plans and resources created by the Saskatchewan Mining Association and other organizations in the Saskatchewan Mining sector will be provided.

Plant Identification Resources and Technology
Saskatchewan Forestry Association

Participants will learn about Apps that are available for plant identification. Take a picture of a leaf and learn what tree it is. Session will include other activities that get students interested in learning about forests in Saskatchewan.