Organizers of Science Rendezvous Hope to Inspire the Next Generation of Science Enthusiasts

The event will take place on May 12 on KPU’s Langley campus

Instructors demonstrate chemical reactions in front of attendees at the Science Rendezvous at KPU Langley. (Matt Law)

In conjunction with hundreds of other events held across Canada for Science Odyssey week, KPU Langley will be hosting a Science Rendezvous for the sixth year in a row. The event is free to the public and will be held on May 12 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Event organizers from the Faculty of Science and Horticulture, Triona King and DeAnn Bremner, have high hopes for the Rendezvous. They expect approximately 3,000 people to attend this year.

“It’s kind of a way to celebrate science,” says King.

Approximately 150 student and faculty volunteers will be operating 50 different activities, tours, and workshops for the event. Most of the campus and the science labs will be open to all, and attendees will get to participate in hands-on activities.

Aside from the Faculty of Science and Horticulture, King says that most of the other faculties at KPU are now involved with the Science Rendezvous in some way. In past years, the event would only focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs, but has recently introduced arts and design programs. As such, it has shifted its focus to “STEAM.”

“Every department comes out and shows something that’s really cool and fun,” says Bremner.

Some of the activities will include touring real science labs and performing experiments, engaging with virtual reality stations, and taking part in musical percussion workshops. Attendees will also be able to participate in water science activities, attend a workshop with a former Ferrari designer, and visit the brewing lab to sample student-brewed beer.

King says that one of the biggest draws for the event is an interactive and engaging chemistry magic show held in the campus auditorium which, in the past, has succeeded in filling up the entire 250-seat auditorium.

The event is hosted by KPU chemistry instructors, and King says that it’s based largely on experiments and “blowing up things.”

Another major draw is the dancing flame show, which—like the chemistry magic event—will have three separate showtimes. King explains that propane gas is pumped through a metal tube and ignited and that “when you play music, the flames kind of dance to the music.”

Two children participate in a hands-on science activity at the Science Rendezvous event at KPU Langley. (Submitted)

One of the main goals for the organizers of the Science Rendezvous is to engage the curiosity of children and families.

“We want [children] actually doing the activities and experiencing them,” says King. “I think they get a lot more out of it when they’re actually doing it.”

Another goal of the Rendezvous is community outreach. According to King, it’s part of KPU’s vision to hold public events which connect the university to the community, and the Rendezvous is one of their most successful methods of achieving this goal.

Because the event is being hosted at the same time as the Langley campus open house, King says that what people learn will vary depending on which event they attend. She hopes that the people who show up will enjoy touring the science labs and engaging in hands-on learning so that “they’ll have a feel of what it’ll be like to go here one day and to study science.”

“Science Rendezvous is absolutely a way to instill a love of science and inspire specifically young minds who want to pursue … a career or education in science,” says Bremner.

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