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Community readies for Science Rendezvous

Astronaut Drew Feustel (PhD’95, DSc'16returns to Kingston to take part in the annual science and technology event.

Ancient bones, buzzing bees, and the ultimate birds-eye view. That is what the public can expect at the ninth annual Science Rendezvous taking place at the Leon’s Centre on Saturday, May 11, a fan-favourite event that highlights the diversity of research happening at Queen’s and in the community

When the doors open, attendees will be greeted by Dippy the dinosaur who stands over four meters high and is 26 meters long, nearly as long as the Leon’s Centre itself. The Diplodocus roamed the earth about 150 million years ago and its neck alone measured 6.5 meters long. Research Casting International in Trenton has recreated this gentle giant.

Canadian astronaut Drew Feustel is attending this year's Science Rendezvous at the Leon's Centre.

After peering into the past, guests can then make their way to meet Canadian astronaut Drew Feustel (PhD’95, DSc'16). On April 6, 2018, the Queen’s alum participated in a live event hosted at the university, communicating with people here on campus while floating around on the International Space Station.

During Science Rendezvous, Dr. Feustel is hosting two question and answer periods starting at 11:30 am on the main stage and will be on hand for the rest of the day to greet the public.

Visitors to the event can also view a working bee hive, meet members of the Limestone Beekeepers Guild, and take home a jar of sweet honey.

“We’re very excited to be bringing Science Rendezvous back for the ninth straight year,” says Lynda Colgan, professor in the Faculty of Education and lead event organizer. “Though the past few years have been exciting, we are over the moon, pun intended, to welcome Drew Feustel to the event. The public will have a chance to chat with a real life astronaut and also meet Dippy the Diplodocus, one of the largest creatures ever to walk the earth.”

Along with the three headline events, the free, family-oriented show will feature a fascinating range of hands-on exhibits, including Queen’s Anatomy, Hexagon Magic Puzzles at the Math Midway, the Art of Research pop up photo exhibit, demonstrations from Ingenuity Labs, and the ever-popular Chemistry Magic Show. Visitors will learn more about and experience the groundbreaking STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) research at Queen’s as about 75 per cent of the researchers exhibiting are Queen’s affiliated.

Science Rendezvous is part of NSERC’s Science Odyssey, a national campaign that celebrates Canadian achievements in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, featuring fun and inspiring experiences in museums, research centres, laboratories and classrooms from coast to coast. Every year in May, hundreds of science outreach leaders deliver fun, engaging and inspiring activities to Canadians of all ages. This year, 310 cities are hosting over 1,000 Science Odyssey events, and Kingston’s Science Rendezvous attracts the most attendees of all events nationally.

“There is something for everyone at Science Rendezvous,” says Dr. Colgan. “Whatever your interests, we try to share a wide variety of thought-provoking exhibits designed to delight and excite the young and young at heart.”

The event runs from 10 am to 3 pm and more 4,000 people are expected. The first 2,000 families will receive a take-home booklet filled with experiments that can be done at the kitchen sink, on the kitchen table, or in the backyard, as well as a free tote bag, some of which will contain additional surprises such as math puzzle kits, colour-changing pencils and much more.

For more information, visit the website.