The University of Winnipeg



Full STEAM Ahead for fun at Science Rendezvous!

Chromatography flower-making (Photo by Tabitha Wood).

UWinnipeg students and faculty members are bringing their fruit flies, dry ice, and musical instruments to the University of Manitoba on Saturday, May 12 for this year’s Science Rendezvous festival! The two universities — along with Red River College and L’Universitaire de St. Boniface — have joined forces to host more than 50 hands-on activities and exciting live shows during this FREE science and engineering carnival at U of M’s Fort Garry campus. 

This year’s theme, Full STEAM Ahead, brings an art twist to the national event designed to get kids and adults engaged in science, technology, engineering, and math. 

Dr. Tabitha Wood (chemistry) has been involved in Science Rendezvous since its inception in 2008 and is the lead event organizer for UWinnipeg’s team of mathematicians, biologists, psychologists, and physicists. 

“Science Rendezvous is a great way for scientists to share their love of science with the public. Many Canadian science research institutes are publically funded, and this is a way for us to give back while enriching science education,” she said. “We try, through our science outreach, to help the public become more scientifically literate and to develop an appreciation for the work that scientists do.”

In addition to hosting activities about chromatography and the science of sound, Wood is involved in one of the event’s signature live shows: the “Chemistry Potions Class.” Fans of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will delight in the show’s funny storyline about young witches and wizards learning to create potions and cast incantations, with special effects provided by chemistry “magic” tricks.

The show is a collaboration between the two host universities, with UWinnipeg undergrad student Kyle Saunders leading the cast of witches and wizards from U of M as the class’s “potions master,” while Wood and her colleague Dr. Jamie Galka make sure the chemistry magic goes off without a hitch.

Check out one of the “explosive” experiments from last year’s magic show:

Science Rendezvous is also a great opportunity for students to develop leadership skills and practice communicating their research with the public. Gurman Grewal is a first-year MSc student in UWinnieg’s Bioscience, Technology and Public Policy program. He is helping out with Dr. Alberto Civetta’s activity called “Can You Find the Mutants?” which asks participants to identify mutant fruit flies.

“I wanted to participate in the event so that I could share a small part of my research with the public, especially the children, by running a booth focused on genetics,” Grewal said.”As a kid I always found genetics interesting so hopefully our booth will create the same sense of wonder for the next generation of potential scientists.”

Science Rendezvous is FREE to attend and open to all! You can find out more about activities offered by UWinnipeg faculty and students here.

There will be food trucks on site, including Kyu Grill, Fired Up Pizza, Habanero Sombrero, and Mini Donuts, as well as free popcorn and ice cream. Please bring a refillable water bottle so you can help us save the environment while staying hydrated and exploring the spectacles of science.

Event Details

What: Science Rendezvous
When: Saturday, May 12; 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
University of Manitoba University of Manitoba, Engineering and Information Technology Complex (EITC) and the Science Complex Buildings (66 and 75 Chancellors Circle).

Other Science Rendezvous Events:

“Nature Activities” – Stop by the Children’s Museum on Saturday, May 12 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm to learn about Manitoba wildlife with the Let’s Talk Science UWinnipeg crew. Event details here

Science on Tap” – UWinnipeg chemist Dr. Jamie Galka is one of four researchers presenting on beer and brewing at this adults-only event at The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (303 Main St.) on Thursday, May 17 from 6:30 – 9:00 pm. Ticket includes two flights of local handcrafted beer paired with appetizers. Click here to purchase a ticket.