School District 41 Day

A Day of Learning

The Burnaby Festival, co-presented by SFU and City of Burnaby with participation from Burnaby School District, is happening from May 7th to May 13th. The Festival celebrates learning in all its forms – workshops, tours, discussions, interactive displays, and more! There’s something for everyone.

The Festival is presenting a day designated for Burnaby School District high school students to learn from outside their normal schedules. On May 9th, high school students are invited to join a day of learning at SFU’s Burnaby Campus.They’ll experience various subject areas from Arts, Social Sciences, Sciences, Communications, and more!


Schedule for the Day

8:45AM – 9:00AMRegistrations
9:00AM – 9:15AMWelcome
9:30AM – 10:15AMSession 1
10:30AM – 11:15AMSession 2
11:15AM – 11:45AMLunch
12:00PM – 12:45PM Session 3
1:00PM – 1:45PMSession 4
2:00PM – 2:20PMClosing

Lunch & Snacks are Provided!

Remember to indicate your dietary restrictions and/or food allergies when you sign up for classes. You only need to fill it out and submit it once. You’re more than welcome to bring your own lunch and snacks if you wish. 

Remember to BRING A WATER BOTTLE! Water bottle fill stations are located around campus, easy for you to refill at any time. We envision SFU to become a leading post-secondary institution for sustainability in the next 20 years. Help us by using less disposable water bottles and recycle in the correct bins across campus!

Classes & Description

Here’s the full list of classes offered this year during Burnaby Festival of Learning – School District 41 Day on May 9th, 2017. Registration for classes start on April 18th until April 26th.

Those who participate are required to sign up for a class in each session. You cannot have an empty session. The School District and you will be notified if we notice that you have not signed up for a class in each session.

Engineering Science Workshop
What are some of your favorite things in this world? Snapchat? Cellphones? Games? Chances are a Computing Scientist or an Engineer helped develop and create those things. Join us for a showcase how SFU’s Faculty of Applied Sciences uses technology to help improve people’s lives. During the session participants will engineer a prosthetic leg!

Robotics Workshop
Students will be introduced to the exciting world of robotics. Students will have an opportunity to build and drive robots with Faculty of Applied Sciences instructors and students. 

Tour of the Trottier Observatory and Science Courtyard
Take a tour of the Trottier Observatory and Science Courtyard. Peek into the 0.7 meter reflector telescope that tracks distant galaxies billions of years old. Enjoy the outside viewing plaza that offers a sundial, an outdoor gallery featuring illuminated seasonal star charts and the multi-coloured plinth along the starlit “Milky Way”.

Physics in Action
Explore the secrets of Physics through hands-on activities and demos in static electricity, Faraday’s Cage, magnetic materials and Ampere’s Law. Experiment with heat transfer-conduction, heat transfer-convection and heat transfer-radiation and learn how a Stirling engine works.

Dragon’s Den Challenge
Calling all creative problem solvers! We are looking for the next best entrepreneur to promote our mystery product. Students will be divided into teams and given 30 minutes to develop a business pitch and present to our panel of “investors”, who are looking for the most creative, well-rounded and realistic plan. Are you up for the challenge?

How to Succeed on Exams
Whether the next big exams you write will be in high school, college, or university, this workshop will teach you study strategies shown by research to be the most effective. Learn how to study for your exams, manage your time during exams, and deal with common types of questions: multiple choice, problem solving, essay and short answer.

Chemistry in Action
Discover the magic of Chemistry right from our lab and dive deeper into matter, its properties, physical and chemical changes, pure substances and mixtures (homogeneous and heterogeneous), separation processes, acids and bases, chemical reactions (including titrations), endothermic and exothermic reactions, etc.

Health Sciences Laboratory and Biocontainment Facility Tour 
Come for a tour of Blusson Hall’s Health Sciences laboratories! Tour will be led by Health Sciences graduate students and will include some brief hands-on activities and a peek into SFU’s biocontainment laboratory facility!

Found in Translation
Ever Google Translate something and laugh at the result? Ever marvel at the fact that the Harry Potter books have been translated into almost 70 languages? Here’s your chance to learn more about the art and craft of literary translation: by trying it yourself!

Using Google My Maps to Put Local History on the Map
Learn how to create interactive maps using Google My Maps that will allow you to explore the many stories of Burnaby through historical photos, videos, and significant places. 

Will You Make (and Break) the Stock Market?
Participate in a simulated market and learn how economics helps us understand how markets work, where prices come from and why Adam Smith’s metaphor of the “invisible hand” captures the working of (some) markets so nicely. You’ll be guided through a version of an economics experiment that won a Nobel Prize.

Why your Blue Jeans are Evidence that all Ravens are Black
From two unproblematic assumptions, it seems to follow that your blue jeans are evidence that all ravens are black, a result that many consider ridiculous. We’ll discuss the reasoning that leads to the “paradox”, and responses to it. The wearing of blue jeans is neither required nor prohibited.

Building a Social Media Vending Machine
Interested in social media, programming or making things? Get creative and explore the possiblities in digital technology. From design to fabrication, learn how to build a vending machine that’s powered by your tweets, posts and likes on Twitter and Instagram.

You Should Give Me all of Your Money
Should we always try to get what we most want (for example, buying a lottery ticket for the $100 million jackpot), or would it sometimes be rational to aim at something less desirable (for example, spending that dollar on food)? We will discuss the basic principles of rational decision making and we will ask whether these principles ever lead to paradox. The presenter will argue that, according to these principles, it would be rational for you to immediately hand over to him all of your money. 

Discover Italian – French as we really Speak it
In French, we will look into the spoken language – langue familière. In Italian, we will provide you with a tourist survival kit should you want to travel to Italy. 

Social Psychology and Poverty
​Can social psychology help reduce poverty? Learn about social psychology and participate in research. The session will begin by allowing students to try a computer-based demo with a short discussion on how people make sense of others’ behaviour. 

Greek Myths and Facts
Introduction to themes in Greek mythology and history, ex. Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus, the myth of Minotaur. References to popular culture and film. 

Examine elements of digital security including strong passwords, two factor authentication (2FA), safer browsing, virtual private networks (VPNs), and secure messaging. 

SFU Gallery Tour
An introduction to the Art Gallery, what we do, discover in-depth SFU’s art collection, and a closer look at colonial and indigenous works around campus.

Activate your Multilingual Brain
Learn greetings and self-introductions in four languages in 45 minutes (Mandarin Chinese, German, Spanish, Japanese). Students will be introduced to the languages and will learn to say simple greetings and self-introductions.

Sizing Your Tin Foil Hat
Is the world controlled by the Illuminati? Was 9/11 an inside job? Is Justin Trudeau the son of Fidel Castro? We will look at examples of some true conspiracy theories and some false ones, and we will talk about how to use critical thinking to adjust our beliefs concerning conspiracy theories in a rational way. 

The Genetic Diversity of Microbes and what it means for our Health
Learn about Molecular Epidemiology, an exciting field in science and medicine that investigates – among other things – the implications of microbial genetics on human health. This is a lecture-style presentation that is based on a real course in the Faculty of Health Sciences. 

Understanding Trump through the lens of the Humanities
In this session we will draw upon key figures from the Humanistic tradition such as Plato, Machiavelli, Freud and Hannah Arendt to understand the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States.


Participating Faculties & Departments

  • Arts & Social Science
  • Applied Science
  • Communication, Art & Technology
  • Bennett Library
  • Education
  • Science
  • School of Interactive Art & Technology
  • Health Sciences
  • Beedie School of Business

What to Expect on May 9th

When you arrive, you’ll need to check-in at the registration desk. You’ll be given your name tag, individual schedule, and a map with all the room locations. We will be meeting at the Diamond Family Auditorium in the morning, for lunch, and in the afternoon. Throughout the day, SFU Student Ambassadors will guide you from class to class. Feel free to ask them questions about life in post-secondary, transition from high-school to post-secondary, pick your courses, and more; they’ll be happy to answer them. 

Want to get started and find out where the rooms are?
Download SFU Snap (available on iOS and Android)
You can type in the room numbers in the search bar and it will show you where the room is located! Have fun exploring! 


What if the class I want is full?
Some classes are smaller than others, or just by popular demand, it was filled up quickly. When that happens, you have the option to register and be put on the waitlist. You’re not guranteed a spot if you are on the waitlist, some rooms just don’t have the capacity to include anymore. Be sure that you find a class you can register in during that session so you aren’t missing out.

What if I decide to change my mind and I want to swap classes?
Depending if the class you want is full or not, just send us an email to and we can make the switch for you. If the class is full, you may go ahead and register yourself to be on the waitlist, but this does not gurantee you a spot in the class. Be sure to still have a class registered during that session.

What if I get lost?
SFU Student Ambassadors will be taking part in the School District Day and guiding students around campus from class to class. You’ll also be equipped with a map just in case you get lost. There will also be checkpoints around campus where you can find a Student Ambassador to help you. 

Couldn’t find the answer you’re looking for? Have additional questions?
Please email your questions to