A date with science: U of S to host Science Rendezvous

TEEVIN FOURNIER

On May 13, Let’s Talk Science will be partnering with Science Rendezvous to celebrate the wonderful world of science. From biology to geology to engineering, there will be activities, tours and fun from all areas of science for curious minds of all ages to explore.

Science Rendezvous is an annual, nation-wide festival hosted in over 30 cities across Canada. The event will be hosted by Let’s Talk Science, a University of Saskatchewan group devoted to providing unique learning programs to youth and educators in science, technology, engineering and math.

The day is packed with science-based activities that showcase some of science’s amazing feats to the community and help promote science literacy and interest. This free event is open to everyone and will be held at the U of S, with the main hub located in the Biology and Geology Buildings.

Laurel Sacco, a graduate student currently studying brain parasites in fish, is one of the main organizers of Science Rendezvous. She explains how events like this are a great way to connect the U of S to the community.

“[They help] the university connect with the community, and I think that’s always wonderful, especially [when] the community can see that the U of S is doing these awesome events and wants [people] to come and join in. What we hope, here, is that not only do we get to showcase our activities, but we get to showcase different organizations … We also get to showcase research that’s going on [at the U of S] that maybe people wouldn’t [otherwise] know about,” Sacco said.

Let’s Talk Science is trying to represent as may fields as possible at Science Rendezvous. So far, they have made connections with the Canadian Light Source, the U of S Department of Geology, the U of S Biology Club, as well as the Canadian Science Writers’ Association. They are still looking for student groups interested in participating, as well as volunteers.

Anyone can volunteer for Science Rendezvous, and Sacco explains that excitement and interest are the only criteria.

“You don’t have to have a science background. Enthusiasm is really what [we’re looking for]. Having people who are enthusiastic and want to educate the community is really all [we] need … I think it almost helps if you’re not an expert in that field, because I think if you’re an expert, you want to add in all this extra information, whereas you get to bring it down [a level] if you’re not an expert,” Sacco said.

Sally Meadows, a local author and a U of S education alumna, found out about Science Rendezvous through the CSWA. She hopes that Science Rendezvous will help inspire kids, especially young girls, to take an interest in science.

“I think a lot of young girls think that it’s boring or it’s not something that they can do, and one of the things that I want to do is help dispel [the] myth that it’s not something that [girls] can do or that it’s not interesting,” Meadows said.

Donna Beneteau, departmental assistant of Mining for Civil and Geological Engineering, outlined some of the activities they are planning to host at Science Rendezvous.

“We’re going to … identify the minerals on a bicycle [and] do a potash solution mining. [We’re] also going to learn techniques for panning for gold, and then we’re going to do stuff that we do with our fourth-year geological engineering students,” Beneteau said.

Sacco explains that science attracts curious minds eager to explore the world and that one of her favourite things about science is that it allows her to discover new things.

“My favourite quote is: April 6th-03 ‘The more you know, the more you know you don’t know,’ and I think that’s why I love science … You recognize that you don’t really know very much, but that’s really exciting.”

Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor