Request a Speaker (Virtual)

Whether you and your students are in the classroom or at home, you can request a guest speaker to visit your virtual classroom at a date and time that works for you. Speakers will attend using your preferred platform and will answer live questions from your students. See below for a full list of topics:

Please note that we aim to reach as many students as possible. If you are interested in multiple speaker topics you will need to complete a separate form for each request and we may only be able to accommodate your highest priority topic (determined through further communication with Liaison Program staff). Keep in mind that sessions are best suited for high school students.  If you would like to book a session for elementary students, please contact the OAC Liaison Officer directly (oacoffcr@uoguelph.ca).  

Complete Request Form

Animals

Animal Housing and Welfare

Learn from OAC staff from animal programs! Combine knowledge of production animal species' respiratory, circulatory, and digestive systems with information on how these animals relate to their physical environment. Recommended for grade 11 & 12 students at the U or C level. Complete a request form now. 

Environment

The Buzz on Bees

Expand your knowledge of honey bee social structure and anatomy from OAC Liaison Officer, Christine, who is also a beekeeper! Take part in fun activities that challenge your understanding of these important insects through fun activities and showcase how they contribute to our food supply. Recommended for grades 9-12. Complete a request form now. 

Soil: An Essential Resource

Learn from graduate students and staff of the Soil Health Interpretive Centre about soil and its relationship to plants, insects, fungi, bacteria, food production, and water filtration. They will demonstrate different soil management strategies used on farms and their impact on the environment. Recommended for grades 9-12. Complete a request form now. 

Climate Change

Learn from a student in the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences degree!  Students will explore the different effects climate change has on the earth and our society.  They will discover the differences between weather and climate and learn about carbon and its role in climate change.  Recommended for grades 9-12. Complete a request form now. 

Insect Inspectors

Step outside of your comfort zone and uncover the diversity of insect species in The University of Guelph Arboretum. Students will search for live insects around their home, neighbourhood, and their local environments and identify them with help from a naturalist. Recommended for grades 9-12. Complete a request form now. 

All About Trees

Virtually visit one of the most beautiful natural spaces on campus, the Arboretum! Students will explore their local environments to identify the different species of trees and plants.  They’ll learn about tree identification, disease, conservation, and biology from a naturalist at The University of Guelph’s Arboretum, and be able to ask questions about the species they found near their homes.  Recommended for grades 9-12. Complete a request form now. 

Food

Exploring Food Chemistry

Visit the Department of Food Science virtually with a master's and Ph.D. student to learn about the chemistry of food. Students will learn about scientific concepts using materials they have at home. Activities include using cold cream versus warm cream to make butter and egg white to stabilize foams. Recommended for grades 11 & 12 at the U level with a science foundation. Complete a request form now. 

The Gluten Project

Learn from a master's and Ph.D. student in the Department of Food Science through an interactive presentation that includes hands-on demonstrations including a sensory test with gluten-containing and gluten-free bread. Students will compare the properties of wheat flour to other cereal flour with the materials they have at home. They'll also discuss the negative perceptions about gluten. Recommended for grades 11& 12 at the U level with a science foundation. Complete a request form now. 

 Economics & Business

Ending Global Hunger

Learn from Spencer Henson, a professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural & Resource Economics about ending global hunger.  Today, over 800 million people do not have enough to eat. That means they do not eat enough food each day to meet their energy needs; they go hungry. At the same time, many people in rich countries like Canada have a plentiful diet, and many of us over-eat. Looking to the future, predictions of population growth suggest there could be 10 billion people or more on the planet. There are genuine concerns over whether we can adequately feed that many people.  Recommended for grades 10-12. Complete a request form now. 

Economics as an Environmental Science

Learn from Glenn Fox, a professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural & Resource Economics about environmental economics.  To many people, the price system or the market is the source or the cause of environmental problems.  Economists study the ways in which people respond to incentives.  Incentives are signals or messages.  They are like road signs along the highway.  "If you need something to eat, take the next exit," is an example of a message that you might see as you drive along the 401 highway.  We face incentives frequently, and some of those incentives prompt people to act in ways that affect the environment.  Environmental economics helps us understand the positive role that incentives can play in encouraging environmental stewardship. Recommended for grades 10-12. Complete a request form now. 

Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on the Agri-Food Sector

Learn from Alfons Weesink, a professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural & Resource Economics about how COVID-19 has impacted the health of individuals and the economy, including the agri-food sector.  Direct effects of the pandemic, such as the shutting down of meat processing plants, and indirect effects, such as the enforced closure of the hospitality sector, caused significant upheaval in the agri-food sector.  Economics will be used to explain the reasons for the impacts, such as empty shelves in the grocery store and the dumping of milk, and why the sector is proving to be resilient. Recommended for grades 10-12. Complete a request form now. 

Interdisciplinary

What’s on Your Plate?

Learn from the Ontario Agricultural College about various aspects of the food production industry. Gain a better understanding of where your food comes from and how it gets to your table with interactive components that can be completed from home or in the classroom. Recommended for grades 11 & 12 at the U level with a science foundation. Complete a request form now. 

Landscape Architecture

Learn from a student in the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture major!  Landscape Architecture is a profession that combines art and science to design outdoor spaces. Students will have the opportunity to learn more in-depth of what landscape architecture is, and what a Landscape Architect does. They will use critical thinking and creativity to gain a new perspective of landscapes, and how space use is taken into consideration. Students will be able to apply design skills through collaboration on a site plan. Recommended for grades 9-12. Complete a request form now. 

Food Waste

Join experts from Feeding 9 Billion at the Arrell Food Institute to learn about food waste. Did you know Canada wastes almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food every year? That is roughly $17 billion in food lost because we buy too much, cook too much, or simply don’t understand best before dates on packaging. This session will help us not only learn about the current food waste problem but also identify induvial action items students can take to help reduce their food waste. Recommended for grades 9-12. Complete a request form now. 

Coming Soon

Flowers and the Ecosystem 

Explore the Guelph Trial Garden, and learn about biodiversity and the role of flowers in the ecosystem. Learn from a Greenhouse Technician about current plant research, and have your plant questions answered!  

Food Insecurity

Join experts from Feeding 9 Billion at the Arrell Food Institute to learn about Food Insecurity.  Definition: ‘Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (World Food Summit, 1996).  This program will help students understand food insecurity in a Canadian context and work to understand the root causes and potential solutions. Recommended for grades 9-12.

Labour and Technology

Join experts from Feeding 9 Billion at the Arrell Food Institute to learn about labour and technology.  What do you think labour and technology look like in agriculture? During this session, you will learn the ins and outs of agricultural labour and the potential effects technology plays. Does more technology really mean less work? Recommended for grades 9-12.