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Science outreach wins national award

Science Rendezvous Kingston is recognized for inviting the community to a world-class science festival featuring Queen's researchers.

  • Photo of Lynda Colgan and Kim Garrett receiving the STEAM Big! Award from Katie Miller and Dwayne Miller
    Lynda Colgan and Kim Garrett accepted the STEAM Big! Award for Science Rendezvous Kingston. From left: Dr. Colgan, Katie Miller, Garrett, and Dwayne Miller. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Photo of Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane giving remarks during the ceremony.
    Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane spoke about the important forum that Science Rendezvous Kingston provides for Queen's to reach out to the community. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Photo of Mayor Bryan Paterson addressing the attendees
    Mayor Bryan Paterson gave remarks about the positive role that Science Rendezvous Kingston plays in the community. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Photo of Dean Rebecca Luce-Kapler speaking during the event.
    Rebecca Luce-Kapler, Dean of the Queen's Faculty of Education, congratulated Science Rendezvous Kingston for the success of their educational outreach work. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Photo of a large team of Science Rendezvous Kingston participants standing with the award.
    Lynda Colgan and Kim Garrett invited volunteers and participants from Science Rendezvous Kingston to share the stage with them. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

Science Rendezvous Kingston put on one of the largest and most successful Science Rendezvous events in Canada in 2019, attracting over 5,200 visitors. For this work, they were presented with the inaugural STEAM Big! Award from Science Rendezvous Canada at a ceremony in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre on March 3.

The STEAM Big! Award was created to recognize an outstanding Science Rendezvous event. The board of directors and members of Science Rendezvous Canada chose Science Rendezvous Kingston for developing “an event that went above and beyond, creating a truly world class science festival that successfully ignited an interest in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM), in their community,” according to a statement from the organization. The 2019 event was the ninth for Science Rendezvous Kingston, and it has grown every year. 

“It is so important that Queen’s has a strong relationship with our community and that we create forums where we can share and celebrate educational partnerships. Science Rendezvous provides an exceptional forum for this fundamental outreach. The STEAM Big! Award is a very well-deserved honour,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane.

Presenting the award

Both Katie Miller and Dwayne Miller – Executive Director and Founder & Chair of Science Rendezvous respectively – were in Kingston to present the award. Bryan Paterson, Mayor of Kingston, and Alejandro Adem, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) were also on hand to congratulate the winners. From Queen’s, Principal Deane and Rebecca Luce-Kapler, Dean of the Faculty of Education, gave remarks, while a video message from MP Mark Gerretsen was played.

Lynda Colgan, Professor in the Queen’s Faculty of Education, and Kim Garrett, co-organizers of Science Rendezvous Kingston were present to accept the national honour.

“The STEAM BIG award is attributable to the long-term enthusiastic actions of the 450 volunteers who represent a diverse continuum from high school students to Canada Research Chairs. The dedication and generosity of these faculty members, physicians, citizen scientists, and community organizations cannot be understated. Science Rendezvous Kingston would like to express our appreciation to them and share this award with them on behalf of our Kingston community,” says Dr. Colgan.

Hosted at the Leon’s Centre, the day featured three headline events. Attendees had an opportunity to meet Astronaut Drew Feustel (PhD’95, DSc’16), former commander of the International Space Station and Queen’s alumnus at the Ask an Astronaut Q&A. Upon entering the event space, visitors were greeted by Dippy the dinosaur, a casting of a Diplodocus standing over four metres high and 26 metres long. There was also an opportunity to learn about bee health and pollination with the Limestone Beekeepers’ Guild as they demonstrated a working beehive.

Queen's researchers get involved

About 75 per cent of the researchers exhibiting at Science Rendezvous Kingston were Queen’s affiliated. Some of the highlights of the free, family-oriented event included hands-on exhibits from Queen’s Anatomy, Hexagon Magic Puzzles, the Art of Research pop-up photo exhibit, demonstrations from Ingenuity Labs, and the Chemistry Magic Show.

Science Rendezvous Kingston is supported by the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) at Queen’s, the Queen’s Faculty of Education, the Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Group, University Relations, NSERC, and Science Odyssey. It is also made possible by many sponsors, including the City of Kingston, Leon’s Furniture Kingston, Rogers Media, visitkingston.ca, Utilities Kingston, and Research Casting International.

Science Rendezvous Kingston 2020 will take place on Saturday, May 9 and will give the Kingston community the chance to meet with scientists and learn about the possibilities of science, technology, engineering, and math. Learn more about Science Rendezvous on their website.