LABRADOR WEST, NL
– Things are about to get STEAM-y at College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Labrador West campus.
But it’s not what you might think. Preparations are underway for Science Rendezvous 2018, an annual national festival that is one of the largest in Canada. It is the first time the event will be held at a CNA campus, and it will debut in Labrador West on Thursday, April 26 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Science Rendezvous 2018 is a kick-off event for Science Odyssey Week. It is primarily student-focused and aims to generate an atmosphere of excitement, curiosity and support for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM).
Dr. Gurinder Kaur Ahluwalia, a physics instructor for CNA’s Comprehensive Arts & Sciences (CAS) Transfer: College-University program, is no stranger to organizing events like this one in her home country of India, but this will be her first in Canada. She is excited at the thought of motivating students’ interest in the sciences, not only at the college, but also at the community and high school levels.
“Science Rendezvous is for everyone, and not only for scientists. It is for people who are curious to learn about their surroundings, and to see how science is something that affects everybody and does not necessarily happen in a research lab or a formal environment,” she explained. “Science brings you close to the real world, instead of living in a virtual world. We are looking for visitors and students to join in the activities, and encourage them to bring out their creative and innovative instincts."
Dr. Ahluwalia says the one-day event will include community partners, such as the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC), Mehihek High School, local artists and indigenous groups.
“We will have over 20 demonstrations and experiments in the field of physics, chemistry, biology and so on. The demonstrations and hands-on activities will be of interest to people of all age groups, and provide learning, while having fun at the same time, for the younger students. We are excited to have some of the local visual arts people and photographers join in as well to participate in the Theatre Arts section. We are also happy that more than 400 students will come in and be involved in the demonstrations and visiting the campus. This is basically a community event.”
Other activities that day will include: a Science Chase, which encourages participants to solve puzzles and have the opportunity to win prizes; making a rainbow; the elephant toothpaste and Mentos experiments; a visit to the Materials and Nanotechnology Research Lab to raise awareness of research and innovation; viewing photo presentations of the northern lights; biological dissections; and, creating art pieces that are inspired by science.
“We really want to generate curiosity among the younger generation for science - challenging them to be able to think for themselves. And if it means that they are interested in attending CNA to learn more about these initiatives, then that is also a great way for them to learn new skills and make it a career.”
Dr. Ahluwalia said she aims to provide more student and community-oriented projects in future, and this event is a great place to start.
College of the North Atlantic