What happened at the UofGH's first Science Rendezvous?

Student volunteers smile beside an anatomical model

If you’ve ever wanted to crack a crime case, analyze anatomy or learn about how humans recognize faces, the Science Rendezvous event at the University of Guelph-Humber was for you.

Dozens of student volunteers helped to make the first Science Rendezvous held on UofGH campus an engaging and enlightening day for guests of all ages, with fun activities and attractions based in anatomy, neuroscience and psychology, health and fitness, as well as forensic science entertaining adults and children alike.

“There was something there for everyone,” said Kinesiology Acting Program Head Dr. Agnes Coutinho. “It was such a nice day and everyone gave really great feedback. I think we’ve learned how we can make next year even better. We definitely have the road map now.”

Students from all UofGH programs were a crucial part of the event’s success. Early Childhood Studies students volunteered enthusiastically to help create a great experience for the younger budding scientists in the bunch, who worked on puzzles, colouring sheets, finger-print art and used Play-Doh to recreate anatomical models.

Fitness tests were also a popular attraction, providing a closer look at how bodies work under pressure. Aspiring police officers were given the chance to sample some fitness tests, which are an occupational requirement for policing, including a blood-pumping educational activity that saw guests completing tests with a 20-pound bodysuit on. Even UofGH mascot Swoop gave it a try.

Dr. Agnes Coutinho, Swoop and student volunteers

For the adults, lessons in Psychology and face recognition were particularly appealing.

Perhaps the favourite attraction of the day might have been a mock bank robbery crime scene set up in the UofGH Art Gallery by Justice Studies students, where guests were invited to conduct an investigation by following carefully laid out clues.

“The volunteers were amazing,” Dr. Coutinho said. “We had even more students help out than we expected. I was so proud of them because with minimal instruction, they really pulled it off. It was so nice to see all the different programs working together.

“At the end, all of them said they want to do it again next year.”

Swoop poses with more volunteersStudents stand ready with anatomical activitiesTwo smiling student volunteers seated at an activity station