Science is the new sexy. So say the t-shirts on sale at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Science who along with the University of Winnipeg will be hosting their annual Science Rendezvous on Sat. May 13. It will run from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the science and engineering buildings on their Fort Garry campus and from 11:00 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the downtown Richardson Environment College.
This is a free event designed to introduce science to the general public. It also counters the notion from TV’s Big Bang Theory that you don’t have to be a nerd to be interested in science.
Activities will be aimed at both adults and children and will include things like magicians revealing the science behind card tricks and chemists offering potion classes just like Hogwarts.
You’ll see things like Picasnake, a cuddly robotic snake that will paint a picture for you. Or the Physics Circus which I hear will let you test a bed of nails or serve you instant nitrogen cooled ice cream.
As you go up and down the stairs between the floors of Machray Hall you’ll be able to play the piano with your feet on touch sensitive floor mats.
I hear the U of W will have a Theremin for you to play. Get creative, see if you can simulate the theme from Dr. Who.
Organizer Seema Goel tells me this event is growing every year and the U of M alone will have 250 volunteers on hand.
Balloon artists will be there, not creating miniature sausage shaped dogs, but models of molecular structure, the double helix, or maybe a triple one if there’s enough balloons.
Chemistry professor Horace Luong will be staging a murder mystery which will be solved by chemistry. Sounds like CSI Manitoba.
And no science show would be complete without someone in a lab coat blowing up something. The Chemistry Magic Show will have some explosive demonstrations.
This will be the second major science fair in as many months for the U of M who recently hosted the 15th annual Manitoba First Nations Science Fair. This was a competition aimed at school aged children from grades 4 to 12. Helping to bridge the gap between conventional education and native culture.
Science Rendezvous however is a nationwide event that originated in Toronto in 2008 and spread across the country three years later. Its goal is to stimulate public interest and encourage enrollment and investment in science and technology for the future.
I was at last year’s event which at the end of the day was probably described best by my seven year old grandson Spencer, who after running across a slime pit known as the Oobleck Run for the 50th time summed it all up in one word. “Cool”.
Little did he know that he was interacting with non-Newtonian fluids.