Poof. The Science Festival is back for year 2

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Director of Education & Northern Programs, Science North, Nicole Chiasson, explained Bernoulli’s Prniciples to those gathered this morning at The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre for the launch of The 2nd Annual Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival. And of course, nothing says learning like hands-on experiments. Science North’s Lora Clausen, led members from Science Festivals’ partnering organizations, through an experiment involving the principles of ‘Lift’ & ‘Air Density’. Which is perfect, for a space where the principles of ‘Flight’ are very much based in science.

20160422_110457 “Regardless of age, science plays in an important part in our everyday lives.  Life -long  curiosity in science is nurtured at a young age. It is vital that our community and province stay up to date and competitive on an international scale.  In today’s global market it is crucial.” said MPP David Orazietti.

Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano spoke about pillars of science starting with a hypothesis; The hypothesis being that Sault Ste. Marie could host a successful science festival. “The hypothesis has been confirmed. The experiment in 2015; a multi day, and successful celebration of science, has led to the 2nd Annual Science Festival.”

“The Science Festival is an opportunity for students and young people to learn about career paths available in science and technology. We have world class scientific research happening in Sault Ste.Marie and cutting edge technologies in use.” shared Mayor Provenzano.

20160422_112256Algoma University President Dr. Craig Chamberlain, who’s professional (and sciencey) background includes a doctorate in kinesiology (Louisiana State University) said “At the university we have the opportunity to be involved in many community events. While we always have to balance our resources and capabilities with respect to the amount of things we can realistically be engaged with, The Science Festival is a ‘no-brainer’ for us. The Science Festival creates opportunities for sharing and learning about science ; helping to build an understanding  of the value of science for our community, and in ways that science enriches our lives.” said Dr. Chamberlain.

Etomica’s John Dedes shared that, “Last year, one event really stood out for us. Going into seniors centres with the fascinating spectacle of bugs was beyond description. We saw a 106 yr.old woman, who was bewildered and delighted, as were many seniors and staff  to see the bugs from Etomica. Some were seeing these living wonders for the first time.”

Dedes said several seniors organizations, retirement and long-term care residences will be part of the Entomica Outreach programme (Science for Seniors) during the festival. He also said that there are already 30 volunteers who are looking forward to contributing to this multi-generational experience.

20160422_113134Beginning his life in The Netherlands, where huge swaths of forests are not the norm, Great Lakes Forest Research Centre, Natural Resources Canada scientist, Kees van Frankenhuyzen said, “Canada is known, in most of the world, as a nation of forests. Our forests contribute in a large part to the biodiversity of the world. Further, forestry contributes in a large way to the livelihood of Canadians. Sault Ste. Marie continues to be the primary space for forestry research in Canada. Our forests are primarily a public asset. Funding for forestry science is becoming an increasing challenge.  Science has evolved from a pursuit by wealthy philanthropists, to satisfy the curiosity of  the rich in the 1800’s, to becoming a publically funded enterprise. The scientific community has  evolved to where we are serving the public good.”

“As scientists, we have not done enough to involve the public in our research and work. The Science Festival is important because, as federal scientists, it is the right thing to do;  to engage the public in all the work that we do.”

20160422_110653(0)Invasive Species Centre’s Executive Director Tracey Cooke; Federal Dept. Fisheries and Oceans Paul Sullivan; Sault College V.P Corporate and Student Services, Janice Beatty;  Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre’s  Executive Director, Michael Delfre; Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre’s Executive Director Tom Vair, and Science North CEO, Guy Labine  all spoke to the strength of building partnerships and the value of science as the basis for a festival. There are eight community partners together with Science North involved in the delivery of The 2nd Annual SSM Science Festival.

Events run from April 26 – 30, 2016, and can be found here

Check out ‘Science for Seniors’; ‘ARTIE’ (Advanced Research & Technology Innovation Expo); ‘Hangar After Dark’ (an evening event at the Bushplane Centre with a nod to Bond. James Bond.; Science Carnival for families and community.

“It’s great to be in a community that is going to be host for the 2nd annual festival of science.” said Guy Labine. True that.

Happy Earth Day 2016.