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An out-of-this-world Science Formal

  • Fourth-year students of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science are busy finishing their work for the 117th annual Science Formal.
    Fourth-year students of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science are busy finishing their work for the 117th annual Science Formal. (University Communications)
  • Painting for Science Formal
    A team of students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science work on the decorations for the Science Formal '20. (University Communications)
  • Sarah Hatherly, Science Formal convener
    Convener Sarah Hatherly and the rest of the organizing committee have been busy for months planning Science Formal '20. (University Communications)
  • Fourth-year students of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science are busy finishing their work for the 117th annual Science Formal.
    Student volunteers are busy constructing the two-storey structure that is the centrepiece of the Science Formal in Grant Hall. (University Communications)

The stars will be coming out this weekend as the 117th Science Formal is being hosted at Grant Hall on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Currently a busy construction site, Grant Hall is being turned into a Starry Night spacescape, including an elaborate two-storey structure. Dozens of students, including the organizing committee, have volunteered their time planning, scheduling, decorating, and building.

Members of the Queen’s and Kingston communities are invited to a special sneak preview of the finished product ahead of the event during an open house from noon to 3 pm on Saturday. Donations for the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington are being accepted at the door.

Making the event a reality is hard work but also an opportunity for fourth-year students to connect with a tradition that started in 1903 and to apply many of the skills they have developed in the classrooms.

“It’s a huge learning opportunity for all of us,” says Sarah Hatherly, Science Formal ’20 convener.” It’s 117 years of tradition but beyond that everyone involved is learning skills from how to build a main structure that’s two storeys and planning to speaking with a professional engineer and making sure all the construction is up to code. All of us are learning quite a bit and applying what we are learning in class, such as creating CAD models, to accomplish what we’ve designed.”

The project has also been a good learning experience in managing teams and fostering collaboration among the crews volunteer workers. But the finish line is now in sight.

“It’s a huge celebration of all of our hard work over the course of four years as engineering students,” Hatherly says. “We’re looking forward to celebrating with the entire class and enjoying the art and structures that we build.”

You can find out more about the Open House and the Science Formal on the Science Formal website.