Geoff Rayner-Canham, B.Sc., D.I.C., Ph.D.



Outreach Activities

  One of Dr. Rayner-Canham’s continuing interests has been the popularization of chemistry - making chemistry relevant and more comprehensible to young students and the general public. He has contended for many years that academics have a duty to venture forth from the ‘ivory tower’ and excite future generations with the pleasure to be derived from knowledge and understanding. As part of this work, he has authored articles in relevant publications such as Chem13 News.

Relevant Publications
G.W. Rayner-Canham, “Are Fake Diamonds Better than Real Diamonds?” Chem13 News, 10-11, (September 2005).
G.W. Rayner-Canham, “Making Money through Electrolysis,” Chem13 News, 18-19 (February 2005).
G.W. Rayner-Canham, “What is X-Rated in Chemistry?,” Chem13 News, 3, (October 2004).
G.W. Rayner-Canham, “No More Sleeping Beauty,” Chemistry World, 1(5), 24-25 (2004).
G.W. Rayner-Canham, “Enriched and Depleted Uranium,” Chem13 News, 1, 4, (December 2002).
G.W. Rayner-Canham, “What is a Pyrophoric Substance?” Chem13 News, 13-14 (November 2002).
G.W. Rayner-Canham, “Fluoride: Trying to Separate Fact from Fallacy,” Chem13 News, 16-19 (September 2001).

Since 1993, Dr. Rayner-Canham has been giving on-campus Chemistry is Everywhere! presentations to 800 high school students every April. These students come from schools across western and central Newfoundland. The presentations consist of live demonstrations, video clips, and slides which show students the importance of chemistry in their lives.

In the photo below, Dr. Rayner-Canham is rehersing the presentation while the SWGC staff (Wanda Ellsworth, Wade Goulding, and Bobbie-Ann Lovell [chemistry] and Dale Power [theatre]) complete the set-up.

Relevant Publications
G. Rayner-Canham, “A Chemistry Show Without the Magic,” Can. Chem. News, 50(3), 22-25 (1998).

Dr. Rayner-Canham realized that it was the more remote schools, those who could not attend the chemistry presentations, who were in greatest need of stimulation. He developed a transportable version of the show that could be understood by a wide range of student ages. With the initial and continuing support of SWGC, he and his first student colleague, Ms. Christina Smeaton took their first expedition across the Straits of Belle Isle to schools on the Labrador coast. With two successive grants from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council PromoScience program, Dr. Rayner-Canham accompanied by one or two students has visited almost all the high schools in Labrador together with schools along the Quebec lower north shore, the tip of the northern peninsula and the south coast of Newfoundland.

The photos below show his student colleagues to date: Ms. Christina Smeaton beside the SWGC Ford Windstar on the coastal highway south of Port Hope Simpson, Lab.; Ms. Amy Snook beside an Air Labrador Twin Otter at Nain, Lab.; Ms. Tonia Churchill beside the shuttle helicopter at St. Augustine airport to the community, Que.; Ms. Natalie Alteen on the charter boat at Hermitage, Nfld.; and Ms. Laura Griffin near the M.S. Apollo at St. Barbe; and Ms. Tanika Chaisson beside the Strait Air Beaver at Tet-a-la-Baleine, Que.


Relevant Publication
G. Rayner-Canham, C. Smeaton, A. Snook, and T. Churchill, “To Boldly Go Where No Chemical Educators Have Gone Before,” Canadian Chemical News, 58(8), 16-17 (2006).

Relevant Grants

2009 NSERC PromoScience grant $49,500
2006 NSERC PromoScience grant $54,000
2002 NSERC PromoScience grant $20,000
2001 Sir Wilfred Grenfell College funding for pilot outreach to Labrador $1,000

Division of Science, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College
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 Last updated on: 05/17/2011