K-ROCK Centre Hosts Science Rendezvous

Published on: 2015/05/08 - in Entertainment

On Saturday, Kingston’s K-ROCK Centre will host the 2015 Science Rendezvous, providing a fun way for children in the community to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Science Rendezvous events take place across Canada and last year’s Kingston’s Science Rendezvous was the largest in the country, with more than 50 stations, 300 volunteers and over 3,750 visitors.

The May 9th Science Rendezvous is being held from 10am to 3pm at the K-ROCK Centre (map) and is free for the public to attend.

This year, participants will experience the world of bats, bugs, snakes, robots and even a giant walk-through colon in Kingston, where Queen’s University researchers are once again an integral part of the event.

“Children engage with topics early on and sometimes they will develop a negative attitude towards STEM subjects as early as the third grade,” said Lynda Colgan, Director of the Queen’s Community Outreach Centre, in a University post. “Science Rendezvous is a chance to give children an informal experience with science and stimulate their curiosity at the same time.”

Tara Diesbourg and her team from the Biomechanics and Ergonomics Lab at Queen’s will have a booth that’s inspired by this summer’s Pan-Am Games, featuring five stations related to a variety of events at the Games.

“We’re really hoping to captivate the kids who visit our booth and take part in our stations,” said Ms. Diesbourg. “Our team of ten have created some cool activities for the kids, including an accelerometer attached to a tennis racket to test how fast they can swing it, and a rowing machine so they can measure the force exerted by their hands and feet.”

Gillian Mackey, a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry, will be hosting a booth at her fifth Science Rendezvous. This Saturday she will be demonstrating safe chemistry experiments that children can try at home.

According to the Queen’s release, visitors to Ms. Mackey’s booth will be shown “how a solution of vinegar and salt can make a copper penny shine like new, and how that same solution can coat the surface of a screw in copper. Outside the K-ROCK Centre, kids will be able to blow bouncy bubbles and watch them bob away.”

“I can’t wait to work with the kids and see how energetic they are,” said Ms. Mackey. “Each year, I’m astonished by their high energy and how excited they are to see chemistry at work.”

Alvine Kamaha, who studies particle astrophysics, will be hosting a booth with displays to demonstrate the fun in physics.

There will be two physics experiments at the booth, both that can be recreated at home; a cloud chamber and a Kelvin water dropper. The Kelvin water dropper uses falling water to generate voltage sparks and a cloud chamber reveals signs of ionizing radiation as condensation is produced where charged particles have interacted.

“We chose these experiments because we wanted something that would attract the kids, would be simple to understand, and would be something they could recreate at home as we’ll give them two sheets with instructions,” said Ms. Kamaha. “They’ll also have the chance to build their own experiments in the booth that they can take home with them.”

For a complete list of participants, visit the Queen’s University Faculty of Education Science Rendezvous page.

Rick Mercer thanks Kingston’s Science Rendezvous volunteers for their participation in this year’s event: