The Expert Experience: Dr. Barry Sanders on being a VROC Mentor

Dr. Barry Sanders

Dr. Barry Sanders

Our last Teacher Feature highlighted Mme. Marguax’s Croll’s VROC Mentorship experience with her grade 5/6 students and Dr. Barry Sanders, Professor and Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) iCORE Strategic Chair in Quantum Information Science at the University of Calgary. We followed up with Dr. Barry Sanders, to get the perspective from the other side of the mentorship – his perspective on being a VROC mentor.


Why did you join VROC?

I joined VROC because I remember being a young pupil in school and wishing I could talk to a scientist. I had so many questions and couldn’t get the answers or even a way to think about how to answer the question. Nowadays the internet makes it easy to find answers to many questions, but a dialogue with a scientist helps not just to get facts but also to learn about scientific thinking and how to do so.

What has the process (signing up, learning the software, connecting with teachers and students) been like for you?

The process was simple. ClearSea is easy to use and the quality of the connection is excellent. Margaux has been a pleasure to work with. She works with the class to send me questions in advance, which helps me to prepare my knowledge and to think about articulate answers delivered at an appropriate level for the class. The students are great. They are smiling, attentive, engaged in learning and come up with great initial and follow-up questions. I look forward to talking with them each time.

What benefits have you experienced by being a VROC mentor?

My chief benefit as a VROC mentor is feeling good. My goal is to share my enthusiasm and curiosity about science with them and the class is keen to learn. I observe the students becoming more relaxed in talking to me, which I really appreciate seeing.


Dr. Barry Sanders and Mme. Marguax Croll have created a collaborative mentorship through VROC that uses the power of connectivity and videoconference to complement the curriculum and enhance students’ learning.

VROC has a database of Experts, known as ExpertBook, that includes even more AITF researchers like Dr. Barry Sanders. If you are interested in signing up for VROC as either a Teacher or Expert, please visit our sign-up page. If you are a Teacher already signed up for VROC and looking for a VROC Mentorship for your class, please visit our Mentorship Request page.

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