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Celebrating science

Memorial University to participate in week-long festival

Student Life

By Kelly Foss

Memorial University is ready to celebrate the fourth annual Science Literacy Week.

This week-long blitz of science-based activities highlights Canada’s outstanding scientists and science communicators from coast-to-coast.

For one week in September, libraries, universities, museums and other partners put on a spectacular nationwide festival of science. In Newfoundland and Labrador, it kicks off on Sunday, Sept. 17, with a science fair at the Avalon Mall’s Centre Court and continues with nearly 40 activities across the province.

Captivating science

“Science Literacy Week is a great way to showcase how captivating science really is, and we are very excited to be holding events to help promote science and science literacy across Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada,” said Ashley Wright, chair of the local Science Literacy Week organizing committee and manager of GEO relations at the Johnson GEO CENTRE.

“We have made great strides with Science Literacy Week in this province, reaching over 1,600 individuals locally and we are now looking to build on the success of past years.”

New partners

To achieve this growth, the committee has expanded this year to include new partners such as the Fluvaruim, Salmonier Nature Park, Manuels River Interpretation Centre, Bonne Bay Marine Station, Corner Brook Public Library and Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus.

Ashley Wright
Ashley Wright, chair of the local Science Literacy Week organizing committee, at last year’s science fair at the Avalon Mall.
Photo: Submitted

They join established partners like Memorial University’s Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Queen Elizabeth II Library, and Let’s Talk Science; St. John’s Public Libraries; the Johnson GEO Centre and Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium.

“Science Literacy Week makes a positive difference by helping the community understand the intellectual foundations, human dimensions and impacts of science and technology,” said Dr. Andy Foster, associate dean, Faculty of Science. “This week of activities, planned and organized by a group of science and education-minded organizations, will be sure to engage the public in STEM-based learning opportunities delivered in very creative and innovative ways.

“By collaborating with science-based organizations, we are able to connect with the public on a wide variety of science-related topics,” he continued. “In addition, engaging with industry professionals exposes students to the tremendous research currently taking place in our province as well as the variety of STEM careers available.”

Something for everyone

During events organized for the week, everyone will have the opportunity to experience the wonder of science first-hand.

Through scientific inquiry and self-discovery, they will gain a better understanding of science and the world around them.

In 2016 more than 140 partners came together to offer more than 500 Science Literacy Week events in 60 cities across the country, with support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

From public talks to explosive chemistry demos to stargazing sessions, this year offers something for science lovers of all ages.

For more information about Science Literacy Week activities in Newfoundland and Labrador, visit the calendar of events.

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