Back at the University of Toronto, the children’s science course instructor, Michaela Tai, explains the dangers of incorrectly connecting a circuit.
“You do not want to do that,” she says. “You do not want a short circuit.”
About 30 minutes later, one child screams “Smoke! It’s smoking!”
There is no visible smoke, but it is a short circuit. So the children quickly make another one.
Tai, a second-year industrial engineering student, uses the mishap to explain to the kids that failure is an important part of science. Fixing those failures builds confidence, she says, something many girls lack early on. But that changes quickly with experience — experience that is gained at programs such as these.
“I tell the girls, ‘Look how well you’re doing now,’” Tai says.
“You can ask questions, don’t be afraid, and don’t be afraid to explore new things.”