Engaging communities in science and research

Research Outreach

Engaging communities in science and research

Science Rendezvous Kingston welcomed thousands of participants who took part in hands-on fun with science and research.

By Jesyka Traynor, Communications and Events Assistant (VPR)

June 3, 2024


A child uses a VR headset

Science Rendezvous celebrated its twelfth year and featured 60 booths supported by over 480 volunteers.

Sounds of excitement and wonder were once again the soundtrack at Science Rendezvous Kingston. More than 5,200 community members from across southeastern Ontario attended the event at the Slush Puppie Place, part of a country-wide initiative which aims to engage Canadians in scientific research. The Kingston event, celebrating its 12th year, featured 60 booths and was supported by over 480 volunteers from Queen’s and the larger community.

In keeping with the 2024 theme of “Innovate,” presenters and booths communicated how discoveries and technologies have a positive impact across industries and on everyday life. They covered a variety of interesting topics – from plant health and climate science to art conservation, 3D printing, robotics, and laser imaging.

“Science Rendezvous Kingston 2024 showcased the full research lifecycle – from ideation to commercialization, and our visitors were invited to imagine future possibilities and witness the current impact of the research happening at Queen’s and across the region,” says Nancy Ross, Vice-Principal (Research).

Children examine rock specimens

Science Rendezvous Kingston 2025 will take place on May 10.

This year’s Science Rendezvous Kingston was also the biggest one yet, showcasing 14 new research areas. These included the Carbon to Metal Coating Institute, demonstrating their innovative coatings that extend the lifespan of critical metals; I-CREAte Kingston, a community-based participatory initiative led by the Department of Family Medicine; the Queen’s Brain Tumour Program; and Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre.

There were plenty of hands-on activities for kids and grown-ups alike, including a display of art restoration technology, offered by Agnes Etherington Art Centre and the Department of Art History and Art Conservation, as well as a display of laser light and 3D imaging by IPG Photonics, and an exploration of biomimicry by the Professional Engineers of Ontario, Kingston Chapter. Special presentations included models of Leonardo da Vinci’s innovative machines, provided by the City of Kingston, as well as the Great Canadian Invention Circus, who presented a short history of Canadian inventors and the role of creativity in innovation. Visitors were also wowed by the life-sized orca skeleton presented by Research Casting International.

Crowd of attendees at Slush Puppie Place

More than 5,200 community members from across southeastern Ontario attended Science Rendezvous Kingston at the Slush Puppie Place.

Making Science Fun

In 2008, Science Rendezvous was created to bring science to the public and inspire the next generation. Today, Science Rendezvous represents the largest single-day science festival in the country and spans 30 cities, 10 provinces, and two territories. In 2020, 2022, and 2023, Kingston’s chapter of Science Rendezvous was recognized with national awards, making it one of the most successful Science Rendezvous events in the country.

Science Rendezvous Kingston 2024 was made possible with the support of Queen’s Vice-Principal Research Portfolio, as well as local supporters: Slush Puppie Place, TIME – Translational Institute of Medicine, Kinarm, Benjamin Hotels, 93.5 Country and Kingston’s K-Rock – 105.7.

While this year’s festivities have ended, the learning continues online as through the resources Science Rendezvous Kingston provides for families and schools to access year-round. These include booklists and suggested readings for continued scientific education, curated by Librarians at Queen’s Faculty of Education, and explore STEM@Home activities provided by research groups that participated in the event. Science Rendezvous Kingston 2025 will take place on May 10. A call for participants and booths will be launched in the fall.

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