If you happened to be visiting the Central Library on May 9, you may have stumbled upon Science Rendezvous—an annual celebration of all things science. Aimed primarily at children and youth, Science Rendezvous is an “annual festival that takes science out of the lab and onto the street”.
With a roster of over 6000 volunteer scientists, researchers and innovators, Science Rendezvous partners with more than 80 organizations across Canada to provide hands-on activities and dynamic demonstrations aimed at demystifying science and engaging the public with the role of science in our world. Science Rendezvous is a terrific annual event, in part because it can spark young peoples’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields as prospective areas of study or future careers.
This was the first year that Mississauga participated, but attendance and feedback were great, so you can expect a repeat performance next year, on Saturday May 7th 2016, with events spreading across multiple libraries in the city.
Where Science Rendezvous provides an exciting environment where people can be amazed and inspired by science once a year, there’s a local group that can provide a similar experience in school and community-settings, at your request, for free!
Let’s Talk Science is an award-winning, charitable organization focused on education and outreach to support youth development. According to their mission statement, Let’s Talk Science (LTS) “…motivates and empowers youth to fulfill their potential and prepare for their future careers and roles as citizens. LTS supports learning and skill development using science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
LTS’s Mississauga chapter runs with three coordinators and over 50 active graduate student and undergraduate volunteers. In collaboration with local schools and other learning environments, LTS offers programs, services and resources that can help youth develop positive attitudes, critical skills, and an awareness of the importance of how STEM disciplines impact our everyday lives.
Today’s youth are tomorrow’s workforce, so it’s vital to increase high-school STEM participation, and increase youth interest in pursuing STEM pathways through college, university, and the skilled trades. Science Rendezvous and Let’s Talk Science are two key venues through which volunteer scientists hope to spark that life-long passion for STEM engagement.
Devin Kreuger is Director of the Office of the Vice-Principal Research at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He can be contacted at [email protected] Visit www.utm.utoronto.ca/research