After two years of virtual Science Rendezvous events, the Canadian-wide science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) festival is back in person.
I think it’s a pretty clear demonstration that people value science outreach and recognize the importance of sharing the good work we do here at UWinnipeg.
Dr. Tabitha Wood
And once again, The University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba have partnered to host a fun day of STEAM-related activities on Saturday, May 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Fort Garry Campus. In addition, UWinnipeg and Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre are also hosting two days of events on campus leading up to Science Rendezvous.
Building off of last year’s STEM Day success, Angeline Nelson, Acting Lead of Indigenous Engagement and Wii Chiiwaakanak’s Director of Community Learning and Engagement, says they are hosting students from six schools this year.
On Tuesday, May 9, approximately 160 Grades 3 to 8 students from Niji Mahkwa School and 140 Grades 3 to 8 students from William Whyte School will be on campus. On Wednesday, May 10, 30 students from Opaskwayak Cree Nation School, 25 Grades 3 and 4 students from Sagkeeng Anicinabe School, 200 Grades 4 to 8 students from Earl Grey School, and 47 Grades 5 and 6 students from David Livingstone School will be visiting UWinnipeg.
“UWinnipeg STEM Day is a really great opportunity for community engagement with local schools and Indigenous communities,” Nelson said. “I am excited to see the significant growth and effort that has gone into this year’s event. The second annual UWinnipeg STEM Day will host more than triple the students we had last year and will have many new and amazing UWinnipeg-led STEM activities.”
Nelson says she’s looking forward to the wide variety of sessions that will be offered to students, including animation, Procreate® digital art, and DNA extraction workshops, as well as drones with Rocky McKay. New sessions offered by UWinnipeg faculty members range from a climate change workshop with the Prairie Climate Centre to augmented reality and 3D printing with the Centre for Academic Technology.
Faculty and student volunteers
Dr. Tabitha Wood, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Science, has volunteered with Science Rendezvous for more than a decade.
She says the buy-in from the entire UWinnipeg community has been outstanding, as there are faculty members from a wide range of departments contributing their time and expertise.
- Resty Jimenez and Ruth Dahl, Centre for Academic Technology;
- Jodi Schmidt, Anthropology Museum;
- Devin Latimer, Haixia Zhang, Keisean Stevenson, and Jamie Ritch, Department of Chemistry;
- Kevin Freedman, Department of Business and Administration;
- Danny Blair and Prairie Climate Centre staff;
- Jay Maillet, Department of Geography;
- Jean-Pierre Desforges, Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences;
- Jeanette Bautista, Department of Applied Computer Science;
- Elaine Herrera, Department of Mathematics and Statistics;
- Vesna Milosevic-Zdjelar, Department of Physics;
- Natalie Richer, Valerie Pelleck, Danielle Defries, and Ben Trunzo, Department of Kinesiology and Applied Health; and
- Sanoji Wijenayake, Alberto Civetta, and Karina Kachur, Department of Biology
“I think it’s a pretty clear demonstration that people value science outreach and recognize the importance of sharing the good work we do here at UWinnipeg,” said Dr. Wood. “This is an event that’s directly focused on school-aged children, so it’s important to have role models and mentorship opportunities for them.”
Students from the Indigenous Summer Scholars Program and Pathway to Graduate Studies program will also be volunteering their time, including acting as guides for the student groups visiting campus.
“Giving students the opportunity to volunteer is important, because it is a teaching experience and also science communication experience,” said Dr. Wood. “It helps them understand the important role science plays everyday in their lives.”
After enduring three long years of virtual events, Dr. Wood says she’s ready to celebrate Science Rendezvous in person again.
Her favourite part of this annual event is seeing everyone come together to make STEAM more accessible for everyone.
“It’s always extremely heartwarming to listen to the visitors that we have on campus and hear how delighted they are with the activities and that they’re having fun,” she said. “I also like seeing the fun side of my colleagues, as Science Rendezvous is a light and joyful event.”