Science Literacy week kicks off Monday at Picton branch

Picton Branch of the Prince Edward County Public Library. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

Science and literacy go hand in hand. You really can’t have one without the other.

Here at the Prince Edward County Public Libraries, we have been celebrating Science Literacy Week since its inaugural year in 2016. If you are new to the event, Science Literacy Week highlights Canada’s outstanding scientists and science communicators from coast-to-coast with a variety of programs and events. The goals are to showcase the excellence and diversity of Canadian science and to show how exciting science is. Be it as simple as a science-themed book display encouraging people to read something a little different to multi-day events, the Week offers something for everyone. Libraries, universities, museums and other partners put on a spectacular nationwide festival of science. Science Literacy Week is powered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and each year focuses on a new, science-related theme. As a library system, we’ll be diving into this year’s theme – Oceans.

Kicking off our celebrations will be award-winning, local author, L.E. Carmichael at the Picton Branch. Carmichael will be stopping in to give two presentations to grades 3-6 focussing on ocean animal behaviour and ecology. Her books Discover Forensic Science, Forensics in the Real World, How Can We Reduce Agricultural Pollution?, and Innovations in Entertainment are all available for borrowing by classes or individuals looking to soothe their cravings for knowledge.

Rounding out our Science and Literacy celebrations is the beginning of the first six-week session of our ever popular MakerClub program. If you haven’t heard of our MakerClub, then you are in for a treat. This afterschool program focuses on everything Maker. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) join forces as the driving topics behind each of our sessions. We work to create programming that allows for cross-curricular learning while being packed full of fun! In the past, we have done MakerClub sessions around 3D printing and design, natural disasters and how our planet functions, Harry Potter potions and science experiments, and theatre and film creation. This year, we have a whole new roster of themes coming your way, but we are kicking things off under the sea.

This first session with Oceans as the big overarching idea, kids at both the Picton and Wellington branches of the Library will get the chance to work individually and in groups, exploring topics like how sharks float, recreating whale migration patterns using our Ozobots, and watercolour coral reef painting. Both MakerClubs are suitable for children 7 and older and take place on Tuesdays at the Wellington Branch from 4-5 p.m. until Oct. 22, and Wednesdays at the Picton Branch Library from 3-4 p.m. until Oct. 23.

Registration is recommended, but drop-ins are always welcome. Head to or call 613-399-2023 to register.

For more information about any of the Science Literacy Week festivities, check out the website at and watch for postings on our social media pages.

-Whitney Shantz and Julie Lane