For the love of science
By Hollie Knapp-Fisher, Communications Intern
In response to a sharp decline in the number of students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) five years ago, Associate Professor and Director of Queen’s Community Outreach Centre, Lynda Colgan brought Science Rendezvous to the Kingston community. This concept of a day-long celebration of STEM subjects, scientists and careers was the inspired by research chemist Dwayne Miller from the University of Toronto, and quickly became a national event.
“Through research we know that children engage with topics early on,” says Dr. Colgan. “The development of negative attitudes towards the sciences is well established by the eighth grade. These students have no idea what the sciences can do for them.”
With over 60 stations, 250 volunteers and an anticipated audience of more than 2,500 visitors, Science Rendezvous, Kingston is expected to continue to be one of the largest events of this type in Canada.
“Informal education opportunities like these are crucial in exposing and stimulating children’s curiosity around the sciences. Avenues such as museums, conservation areas and even the science channel are important ways for them to learn and discover,” Dr. Colgan adds.
This free event is open to children and their families in hopes of changing the public’s attitude towards STEM subjects. Students will have the opportunity to interact with scientists while they perform experiments or experiment with new technology. Stations will include a Chemistry Magic, surgical simulations, demos by KPF Canine unit, off-road Baja vehicle races, endangered species, green roofs, laser light shows and much more.
The Science Rendezvous is also beneficial to the STEM community. It allows researchers to engage with the public and share their work.
This event takes place on May 3 at the Rogers K-Rock Centre from 10am to 3pm. For more information check out their website http://educ.queensu.ca/coc/science-rendezvous.