Science takes to the streets on the weekend


If you think learning about science means picking up a heavy, fat textbook and doing a lot of reading, think again. May 11 marks the fifth year of Science Rendezvous, a free science festival that is celebrated in several cities across Canada from Vancouver to St. John’s.
“Somehow along the way we lose that innate sense of curiosity,” said Kelsey Miller, executive director of Science Rendezvous. ”We want to reinvigorate a sense of curiosity and passion for youth.” Five years ago, R.J. Miller, a chemistry and physics professor, was tired of not being able to reach more youth and engage them in science. He spoke to other professors from other universities, and found that they, too, felt the same way.
Together with Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, York University and the University of Ontario Technology Institute, a doors-open event was first hosted in 2008 and Science Rendezvous was born. That first year, 15,000 people took part. In 2012, the number had soared to 150,000 with 300 locations across the country. It is run by a “voluntary army” of 4,000 volunteers and 2,000 scientists. “Learning doesn’t need to happen in the classroom,” said Miller.
“Science and that curiosity becomes uncool,” said Miller. “We can show them how cool that is.”