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Chemistry Student Wins National Science Volunteer Award

posted May 10, 2013

Li Wang, a PhD student (chemistry) and Let’s Talk Science (LTS) volunteer in the College of Arts & Science, has been awarded the LTS 2013 National Volunteer Award. The award honours volunteers who embody excellence in advancing the science education of Canadian youth.

Let’s Talk Science is a national, non-profit organization that engages more than 3,000 post-secondary volunteers at 39 universities and colleges across Canada. Volunteers conduct fun, exciting hands-on science activities with children and youth of all ages in classrooms and community settings.

Wang is a fairly new volunteer with Let’s Talk Science Outreach volunteer but has made an impressive impact according to the program coordinators. He has participated in more than 30 outreach activities in the past year, including visits to rural communities such as the village of Glaslyn, more than 200 km from Saskatoon, and to a two-day science camp in Patuanak, more than 500 km away.

“The award encourages me to dedicate more to science education, especially to the development of science in rural and remote communities of Saskatchewan.” Said Wang. “I also feel thankful to Let's Talk Science for giving us volunteers the opportunities to contribute our knowledge to the future of this country.”

Aside from Let’s Talk Science, Wang also takes part in other science outreach programs including Science Trek and as a Northern Science Ambassador through the Fond du Lac for Science Ambassador program.

Wang, who was raised in Chengdu, China, came to the U of S in 2007 after completing his bachelor’s degree at Sichuan Normal University in Chengdu. He completed his masters in chemistry in 2009 under the supervision of Michel Gravel, whom he credits for much of his academic success and for motivating him to continue studying towards a PhD.

He is hoping to enter the College of Education next fall, as the LTS program and teaching assistantship program in the Department of Chemistry has inspired Wang to continue helping advance the education of others.

“Li has a contagious enthusiasm and this shows in the faces of students he has worked with,” said Conie Ponce, Let’s Talk Science Outreach site coordinator at the U of S. “He is a true-blooded volunteer, doing science hands-on activities because he loves doing them and he loves to learn and not for any other reasons.”

“Science activities should not only teach the knowledge of science, but also deliver the cutting- edge technologies. This would catalyse the passion of the students for science,” explained Wang of his approach to creating activities for students.

Wang will receive his award at a Let’s Talk Science Banquet in June.

About Let’s Talk Science:
Let’s Talk Science is an award-winning, national, charitable, science outreach organization. Through Let’s Talk Science Outreach, we engage more than 3,000 enthusiastic post-secondary
student volunteers at 39 universities and colleges across Canada to engage more than 160,000 children and youth in science, technology, engineering and math each year. For more information about Let's Talk Science, please visit

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