Dr. Roberta Bondar visits Manitoulin schools next week

Doctor Roberta Bondar

MANITOULIN—Dr. Roberta Bondar will be visiting Manitoulin Island high schools next week.

Donna Baker, project coordinator for the Roberta Bondar Foundation, confirmed late last week that, “Dr. Roberta Bondar will be visiting Manitoulin Island (this) week.”

Ms. Baker confirmed, “the actual dates for Dr. Bondar’s visit have been set for two dates, September 18 and September 19. She will be at Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) on Monday, September 18 at 1 pm. The general public is invited to attend,” noting that members of the public will have to pay an admission fee. Those interested can call MSS for more information.

“Dr. Bondar will be making a presentation at the Wikwemikong High School at 9:30 am on Tuesday, September 19,” said Ms. Baker. “We are hoping all elementary schools on the Island will be able to attend one of the presentations she will be making.”

As was reported in a press release on June 1, 2017, Science North and the Roberta Bondar Foundation have formed a new partnership to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dr. Roberta Bondar’s historic space travel with Earth Matters, a multi-city series of guest appearances throughout Northern Ontario focused on the trailblazing astronaut’s love for this planet.

The inspirational seven-stop series included a stop in Sudbury on June 1 that featured Dr. Bondar. Over 200 Grade 6 to Grade 12 students attended Dr. Bondar Earth Matters presentation and participated in a full day photography workshop at Science North. Led by Science North staff scientists, the students explored Lily Creek Marsh and the Northern Forest surrounding the science centre to learn about the different ecosystems, to identify the flora and fauna and to kick start their participation in the Ontario150 Bondar photography challenge launched during Dr. Bondar’s presentation.

The first stop which kicked off the presentations was in Dr. Bondar’s hometown of Sault Ste. Marie where she participated in the Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival on April 25. These presentations are part of Ontario’s 150th anniversary celebrations. The tour also launched the photography-based Ontario150 Bondar Challenge at each stop.

“My view from the spacecraft Discovery 25 years ago forever changed my view of Earth, and it was on that flight that I committed to protect this magnificent planet,” said Dr. Bondar, whose foundation is committed to connecting people to nature through photography in order to promote good health and protect the planet.

Dr. Bondar is not only Canada’s first woman and the world’s first neurologist in space, she is also an award-winning photographer, who photographed each of Canada’s National Parks for her book Passionate Vision-Discovering Canada’s National Parks. She will illustrate her talks on how her unique perspective from space made her appreciate Earth using many of her fine art images and videos.

“As part of Science North’s mandate in serving Northern Ontario we are always looking for ways to extend our reach and bring science education to all communities in Northern Ontario,” says Guy Labine, Science North CEO. “We are delighted to partner with Dr. Bondar, who is such an inspiration to so many Canadians, in bringing her insights about our planet to Northern Ontario is such a unique way.”

“Ontario’s 150th anniversary is an opportunity for people to recognize and celebrate the incredible resources our province offers,” said Eleanor McMahon, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Under the leadership of Dr. Bondar and Science North, Earth Matters and the Ontario150 Bondar Challenge will engage and help people connect with our natural world in an inspiring and impactful way.”

The Ontario150 Bondar Challenge is based on one of the Roberta Bondar Foundation’s most successful programs. The Challenge invites people to take photographs of an aspect of nature in their own community that they admire and hope will still exist 150 years from now. Participants will be asked to submit their photographs along with a brief description of why what they have captured is meaningful. Once submitted, these photos can be viewed on community pages found on www.therobertabondarfoundation.org.

The photography will be curated into narratives of each community ‘s hopes for the ‘natural future’ and publicly posted. The illustrated online stories will be promoted by The Roberta Bondar Foundation on their site and social media channels as well as on the Science North website at sciencenorth.ca. More details about this challenge are posted on the Foundation’s website at www.therobertabondarfoundation.org

“It is my hope that when people connect to nature through photography, they will love and respect Earth and work together to protect it so that we can enjoy a healthy life on a healthy planet,” says Dr. Bondar.