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UofGH to host Science Rendezvous, this time virtually
On Saturday, May 8, the University of Guelph-Humber will host its annual Science Rendezvous, an all-ages event that aims to showcase the wonders of studying science to the broader community, as part of a Canada-wide free science festival showcasing innovation in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).
This year’s Science Rendezvous will be held virtually for the first time, with a mix of live and pre-recorded fun and informative activities, specifically designed to give participants of all ages the opportunity to interact in real-time with student volunteers and partner presenters, or visit the stimulating scientific exhibits and experiments on their own time, without leaving home!
"The virtual format of this year's Science Rendezvous is enabling us to reach a broader audience,” said the Chair of the event, Interim Kinesiology Assistant Program Head Dr. Justine Tishinsky.
“We are designing the events such that students and their parents can engage in fun scientific experiments right from the comfort of their own home.”
The theme of this year’s event – which is presented in partnership with Astronomy in Action – is I Can Live in Space! Participants will have the chance to visualize their trip to space, where they’ll then learn about how the human body must adapt to life in space: how the body eats, sleeps, exercises, and more, in a weightless environment.
In keeping with Science Rendezvous’s overall Steam Green theme, participants will also learn about climate change on Earth. Along with space-based imagery and video allowing attendees a better understanding of Earth’s place within the universe, Science Rendezvous will feature discussions of the life-sustaining properties of different planets and how that relates to the need to preserve our fragile environment on Earth.
As always, Science Rendezvous will be a largely student-driven event, with UofGH student volunteers from all programs working together to creatively demonstrate the skills and knowledge they’ve built through their studies at UofGH.
“We are incredibly proud of our UofGH student volunteers who are collaborating to create events for Science Rendezvous this year,” Dr. Tishinsky said. “Their enthusiasm to showcase their learning and inspire the next generation of scholars is outstanding.”
Resonating beyond UofGH campus
Although Science Rendezvous is an annual highlight for the UofGH community, the event is created to be accessible, engaging and educational for as broad an audience as possible.
“That’s a beautiful part of Science Rendezvous – it’s about the family coming together as much as possible,” said Alison Canning, Executive Director of Let’s Get Together, a crucial community partner in staging and promoting Science Rendezvous each year. “Giving parents and children the opportunity to learn together is really powerful.”
“Another thing that separates an event like this is that young people get to see students in action. That’s the whole premise of Science Rendezvous: post-secondary students showcasing their knowledge.”
Krista Hinds was one of those high-school students who made Science Rendezvous a family affair, attending a previous event on campus with her parents and younger brother. It was an important day not only because the interactive exhibits engaged Hinds and her family, but because Hinds took the opportunity to explore the campus, to ask questions about the University, and to find out more about the programs that interested her.
Two years later, and Hinds is finishing her first year in the University of Guelph-Humber’s Psychology program. She looks back now on that visit to Science Rendezvous as a formative one in her educational journey.
“Attending the Science Rendezvous was important in influencing my decision to attend the University of Guelph-Humber,” Hinds said.
“I was able to tour the campus, see exhibits run by current students, and even speak with some professors. It allowed me to learn about the school itself and the different programs, while also attending a fun event.
“I hope that other students will be able to go to the Science Rendezvous and maybe have the same experience!”