Idea for Black History Month and Chinese Heritage Month – submitted by Leila Knetsch

black student

I tried out a quick idea with my Grade 12 Biology class last week and I was so pleased with it I am going to use it Day 1 with my grade 9 Science class and grade 11 U Biology class.  February is Black History Month and in TDSB we are also celebrating Chinese Heritage month.


Explanation of Career exploration mini-activity (30 minutes)
I was preparing a lesson about photosynthesis (Grade 9Ecosystems) and I wanted to spotlight a regular Black person in STEM.  I am doing a lot of career connections nowadays so I thought that Food Science at University of Guelph would be a good place to look.  They have a section of undergrad and graduate profiles that are a, “day in the life” of a student.  I profiled a Black Food Science undergrad, E’layna Baker from the Bahamas.  I told the students about her and showed them to the University of Guelph website.  To my surprise one of my former students, Stephanie Wong is there so I contacted her and she will be visiting our class live in the near future.


I created a few slides with the profiled students and I put the names of every student in the class on blank slides.  I sent the students off to work for 30 min on their own, creating a summary of the profile (with a picture). I asked them to choose a person with the same letter as their own name.  After they finished (I could see them working in real time as I used a Google slides deck and gave them editing privileges), I brought them back and they share with each other in breakout groups (groups of 3) for 5 min.  At the end, I had 15 profiles beyond the two that I chose! If a teacher doesn’t want to use the U of Guelph website, they can use this one that profiles 22 diverse scientists.
Thanks for sharing Leila!!!!!!!!!!