Science Rendezvous Kingston returns

Local Impact

Science Rendezvous Kingston returns

Queen’s researchers and community partners will showcase their science and outreach activities at the family-oriented event on May 13.

By Catarina Chagas

May 2, 2023


[Photo of a student learning about static electricity]

Each year in mid-May, Queen’s researchers and students take over the Leon’s Centre and The Tragically Hip Way in Downtown Kingston for a full day of science outreach activities featuring topics in biology, chemistry, geology, psychology, engineering, health, and many others. For over a decade, thousands of children, youth and their families have interacted with the displays and queried the researchers to learn about their work.

This year, Science Rendezvous returns to Kingston on May 13. The festival, which is free of charge, will be the biggest one yet, with over 400 volunteers spread across 50 booths featuring research discoveries and interactive activities.

"We are proud to see so many of our researchers, students and community partners invested in sharing knowledge with young people and their families," says Nancy Ross, Vice-Principal (Research). "Events like Science Rendezvous help us translate the impact of Queen’s research and inspire the next generation of scientists."

The theme of this year’s event is CREATE, showcasing how discoveries are made and new knowledge is built in different research settings, from labs to cities, from underground to outer space, from forests to hospitals.

Highlights of the day include Queen's CardioPulmonary Unit (QCPU) showcasing a mini CT-scanner which will allow visitors to view real-time scans of QCPU’s mascot, Dr. Squeak. Queen’s Ingenuity Labs will introduce audiences to their robot dogs, Boston Dynamics Spot and Unitree Go 1, who allow engineers to safely and effectively navigate challenging terrain.

New to Science Rendezvous this year is Kingston Fire and Rescue, who will demonstrate hydraulics and water supply with a fire hydrant and truck, and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, in partnership with Queen’s Art Conservation Program, who will introduce the tools and techniques used by museum professionals to study and preserve artwork and heritage objects.

Also, for the first time, Science Rendezvous Kingston will feature a Sensory Friendly Science Zone designed for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, social and emotional mental health needs, and other sensory-related or physical disabilities.

[Photo of a student looking through a telescope]

"Our goal is to be increasingly inclusive, ensuring everyone gets the opportunity to experience science and fun," says Queen’s Professor Emerita Lynda Colgan, founder and coordinator of Science Rendezvous Kingston. "We want to show children that scientists come in all colours, genders, and ages, and that anyone can be a scientist if they want to."

Dr. Colgan highlights how important it is to provide a fully free event in a post-pandemic world where the costs of taking a whole family to a science museum are out of reach for so many people.

Science Rendezvous Kingston is part of the Canada-wide, not-for-profit initiative Science Rendezvous, the largest one-day science festival in the country, happening in over 30 cities in 10 provinces and two territories. The event is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). On March 8, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, on behalf of Kingston City Council, proclaimed May 13, 2023 to be "Science Rendezvous Kingston Day" in the city.

Highlights of Science Rendezvous Kingston 2023

  • Research Casting International (RCI) is mounting a cast skeleton of Saurophaganax, a large carnivorous Allosaur that lived in North America during the late Jurassic period (about 151 million years ago)
  • A giant, interactive floor map brought by the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition will allow visitors to experience the ocean and waterways with augmented reality
  • A Chemistry Magic Show will be presented by Queen’s Department of Chemistry on the main stage at 10:30 am and 1:45 pm
  • Award-winning Canadian authors will give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at how authors create STEM books out of cutting-edge science
  • Queen’s Plant Sciences Research Group will share knowledge about flowers, vegetables, grains, and oilseeds

Visit the website for a full list of booths and for more information on the event, or follow Science Rendezvous Kingston on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).

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