Science Rendezvous receives funding boost
By Rosie Hales, Communications Officer
Lynda Colgan thinks about her grant money in terms of popsicle sticks, straws and other supplies for her experiments at Science Rendezvous.
That’s what her $20,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) PromoScience award went to fund this year and will fund at next year’s event.
“It’s a real privilege and honour to win the NSERC PromoScience grant,” says Dr. Colgan, Science Rendezvous’ lead organizer. “Receiving these funds is a wonderful way to know that we can continue to do new and innovative things at Science Rendezvous.”
Science Rendezvous 2014, held this past May, saw 3,700 children and their parents visit the Rogers K-Rock Centre where students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the Faculty of Education were hosting experiment stations to get children excited about science, technology and engineering.
Their station, the “Widget Workshop” –combined small mechanical devices created by engineering students with lesson plans created by education students – was the station that won Dr. Colgan’s team the grant money.
“Widgets are simple objects that illustrate or illuminate an important science, engineering or technology concept that children could build at Science Rendezvous and bring home with them to play and continue to experiment with,” says Dr. Colgan.
Teams of first-year engineers and teacher candidates developed these widgets and tested them with children at the Boys and Girls Club in Kingston. The widgets, such as hovercrafts made from balloons, CDs and plastic bottle tops, were then taken home by the children.
“The best part was seeing the kids explain to their parents what they had made,” says Dr. Colgan. “Having kids get excited talking about science is the best I could have hoped for.”
More information on the NSERC PromoScience program can be found here.