If you like to see explosions, get your hands dirty and see science at work, this Saturday might be your chance to do it.
Science Rendezvous, celebrating its 10th year, takes place this Saturday with 300 free events at universities and research institutes in more than 30 cities across the country.
Each event is unique, with scientists bringing some of their research to the public in an effort to promote science. It’s not just about that — it’s also their chance to get out of laboratories and have fun themselves.
“Nobody is more passionate about science than the people who have dedicated their lives to it,” said Kathleen Miller, executive director of the Science Rendezvous festival organization, based in Toronto.
The concept came about when founder Dwayne Miller visited Germany and encountered a large public science festival.
“He thought, why can’t we do this in Canada?” Miller told CBC News.
Since its inception, it has expanded from just five participants to more than 35. To date there are 6,000 volunteers with an attendance of about 300,000 people.
What to expect
You can experience a variety of science experiments and demonstrations, each unique to its location.
In British Columbia, for example, Simon Fraser University will feature science shows, including liquid nitrogen ice cream making and a tour of the Trottier Observatory and Science Courtyard.
In Nova Scotia, Cape Breton University will explore dinosaurs, fossils and even gourmet insect tasting (“You only live once,” say organizers.)
It’s this type of variety that makes Science Rendezvous a success, Miller says: fun, hands-on experiments that are geared to people of all ages.
Ontario features the largest number of locations from several in Toronto to venues in Kingston, Ottawa, London, Windsor and Waterloo.
In the past, Ryerson University, one of the original participants, made the world’s longest DNA strand, a record that stands in the Guinness Book of Records.
The University of Toronto created the longest non-Newtonian fluid dash. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a “liquid” that when stress is applied — such as walking on it — acts as a solid. Stop walking on it and you sink.
But science isn’t just relegated to the country’s most populous provinces: Science Rendezvous is even taking place in the North, with three events in the Northwest Territories.
Science in the North
In Inuvik, the Aurora Research Institute will be hosting a variety of events, including 3D printing, robotics, a VR set-up, optical illusions and more. In the past, it’s had great success with events like fish dissections, homemade flashlights and even teaching people how to date trees by ring-counting.
Matthew Dares of the institute, who heads Science Rendezvous, said the event has drawn a lot of…