Let's Talk Astrophysics

Let's Talk Astrophysics is a free 2 day online symposium, where participants will have the chance to meet and hear from astronomers before searching for the elusive Dark Matter using real data from a space satellite. In this free program meant for 15-18 year old students across Canada in grades 11, 12, and Cégep, explore the cosmos and learn to use advanced scientific tools with the close guidance of leading scientists. All-star panels of scientists and top student researchers will speak about a range of topics, from careers in space science to cutting-edge astrophysical research. Students will have hands-on guided instruction on astrophysical analysis and computing tools used by scientists at every level.

Let's Talk Astrophysics is run by the IDEAS Initiative and Let's Talk Science, and is supported primarily by the Queen's University Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy, The Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute, SNOLAB, and The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Computing resources are generously provided by mybinder.org, a public service and volunteer-run open-source project with cloud resources sponsored by Google Cloud, OVH, GESIS Notebooks, and the Turing Institute.


A recording of the public talks and panel is available online on YouTube!

Program Details

Let's Talk Astrophysics is a 2 day symposium occurring online on February 20 and 21, 1pm - 4pm Eastern. The symposium is meant to foster a love of science, leadership, and skill development in 15-18 year old students in grades 11, 12, and Cégep through hands-on experience using real scientific data alongside top scientists. Activities were carefully crafted and led by scientists and award-winning university instructors. The Saturday programme is open to all members of the public.

Participants will have the opportunity to seek scientific and career advice from leading astronomers and undergraduate researchers. Participants will learn about the Gaia space observatory and Nobeyama Radio Observatory and use real scientific data to search for signs for the elusive Dark Matter - one of the most important and on-going scientific questions of the century. Participants who complete the workshop will be granted a certificate awarded from Queen's University and the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute, indicating their advanced scientific experience.

Price: Free

Schedule: Downloadable Version (490KB, png)

Registration Details

The event is now over! Thanks for attending!


For inquiries regarding Let's Talk Astrophysics, including questions about registration:

For other questions, please contact:
Simran Nerval, Chief Organizer | simran.nerval@queensu.ca

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can register?

Anybody who is currently in Grade 11, 12, or Cégep can apply (ages 15-18) can apply to the full programme (Saturday and Sunday).

High school teachers and other educators can join us by registering through the Educator ticket (Saturday only), and all individuals can join us by registering for an Enthusiast ticket (Saturday only).

What will it cost to register and participate?

Registration and participation will be free.

Do I need any prior experience, skills, or knowledge?

No! The program uses a large network of volunteer scientists to cater to participants of all skills levels.

Do I need a computer and internet connection to participate?

Yes. If you do not have access to a reliable or regular internet connection, please contact us at talksci@queensu.ca