The Science Engineering and Technology (SET) Challenge organized by the Kivalliq Science Educators Community (KSEC) will return to Kivalliq schools this year.
KSEC has developed and delivered the SET Challenge into Kivalliq schools since 1995.
Initially organized for participants at the Kivalliq Regional Science Fair, its popularity quickly led to the development of a distance delivery model for science education at the regional level.
The SET Challenge is a collection of fun, concrete thematic problems that require cooperation, communication and some science, engineering and technology.
It also reinforces many of the core values of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit traditional knowledge).
It took a one-year hiatus this past year as the students received a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Challenge, which was delivered by Actua, a national charity that encourages youth to pursue careers in science and technology and was used in the majority of schools across Nunavut.
Longtime KSEC member Glen Brocklebank of Victor Sammurtok School in Chesterfield Inlet confirmed that KSEC would be running its own SET Challenge this year under the banner of Uuksitaaqtut (Target Practice).
He said the new SET Challenge is almost school-ready. When complete, it will be sent out to schools in late March and will be ready for delivery sometime in April.
“We’re just finalizing all of the activities, but we are going to be sending our own SET Challenge out to all of the Kivalliq schools once again,” he said.
Victor Sammurtok School used to do its own SET Challenge in November, and then hold a “math month” in April, but this year, “We’re going to combine both of those this year into a kind of STEM month type of thing,” said Brocklebank.
“So we’ll have some activities included for math month, and we’ve got our own SET Challenge, Uuksitaaqtut, which promises to be a lot of fun this year and is actually one of my favourites.”
Brocklebank said Actua’s STEM Challenge went over really well in the Kitikmeot and Baffin regions, but he’s not sure if it will go out to all Nunavut schools again this year.
“What I can say is that we will be delivering our own programming once again, and we’re trying to get everything to the schools during this fiscal year which ends this March 31,” he said. “So, for me, personally, it’s good to announce that we will be doing our own challenge again this year, as KSEC has been doing for the past 23 years, or so.”