'It's all about the hands-on': Kids see the science of everything at Science Rendezvous
Thousands take in annual festival at University of Manitoba
Science, technology, engineering, art and math leapt out of the textbook and into the real world at Manitoba's largest science and engineering festival, held in Winnipeg Saturday afternoon.
The event — Science Rendezvous Winnipeg — filled the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry Campus and attracted thousands with dozens of hands-on, sciencey things to do.
"This shows the next generation that science isn't just boring math, sitting down and studying, it's actually really cool little things that you never really thought you'd notice — it's what pushes humanity," said Robert Perron, one of the 700 student volunteers behind the event.
"It's important to show them that you can study this … and you can have a lot of fun with it."
The annual festival, now in its 12th year in Winnipeg, is part of a national celebration of science with more than 300 similar events in 30 cities across Canada.
The Winnipeg festival featured everything from bugs and fossils to live science shows and tours of the school's cutting-edge research facilities.
In all there were more than 60 activities to keep young scientists busy, including a musical staircase, a glow wall, and a fruit keyboard.
There was even ice cream made with liquid nitrogen.
Those not scared to get a little dirty could also take a dip in a giant pool of oobleck — a mixture of cornstarch and water that is a liquid but which becomes hard as soon as you run across it.
"It's all about the hands-on and it's all about sharing the many talents of our students," explained Seema Goel, an outreach co-ordinator at the University of Manitoba who works to integrate art with STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math.
"All of it comes back to science and engineering."
But Perron says it was a talented android that seemed to attract the most attention.
"I would actually say it's Pepper the Robot. It's a little ... robot that dances, sings (and) one big thing for kids is it dabs," he laughed when asked about the most popular attraction.
"It really shows that ... it bridges that interest for kids between robot technology and humanity."
Science Rendezvous Winnipeg attracted roughly 4,000 people last year, and organizers expected to break that record this time around.
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