Science Festival ‘igniting minds’ of all ages (16 photos)

science festival

The fourth annual Science Festival is set to begin in Sault Ste. Marie.

The focus of the festival is to shine the spotlight on science among children, teens, and adults by offering an opportunity to celebrate science in a fun, interactive, and welcoming setting for all ages.

The opening event for the festival took place this morning at the FJ Davey home.

Barbara Harten, Executive Director of Extendicare, expressed her excitement to have the Davey Home included in this event.

She said, “You really feel the difference when you have an event like this in a home. You can feel the energy and the buzz, and it really makes it a home. It breaks down age silos and inspires the residents.”

This award-winning science festival, Kicking off Monday, April 23rd and continuing on until Saturday April 28th, is the only festival of its kind in the area.

Donna Rogers, Academic Dean of Algoma University, highlighted the importance of events like this to the development of the Sault’s science community,

“You are never too old or too young to learn something new. This event helps to encourage young minds to consider the exciting fields of science. We are introducing the next generation of biologists, engineers, chemists, computer scientists, and more.”

In addition to shaping the future, bringing the science community together is also a way to showcase the cutting edge research and contributions made to the field over the last year, all the while entertaining youth and seniors.

Theresa Cassan, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, explained of the 11th Annual ARTIE (Advanced Research & Technology Innovation Expo) which will be hosted during the festival,

“We are expecting over 1200 participants from grades 1 to 8, as well as 14 exhibitors. They will offer hands-on experience in computer game technology, police and fire sciences, solar energy, insects, energy safety, robotics, and local agriculture. All available spots were claimed within days of opening.”

And it will cater to seniors as well.

John Dedes, CEO of Entomica, announced that the New Horizons for Seniors program will provide grant funding for organizations that want to help seniors make a difference in the lives of others and their communities, and projects that are lead or inspired by seniors.

science festival
Dedes shows one of the feeders that will be at the senior centres.

A grant is funding the delivery of Science for Seniors program at all 7 senior science centres in Sault Ste. Marie.

He continued, “In addition to the regular interactive program, we will also have cool new things with butterflies which will extend the festival longer than a week. Throughout the whole year, each senior centre will have a butterfly feeding station.

We also had live butterfly kits last year where seniors grew and nurtured butterflies from caterpillars and saw them through metamorphosis. Then they all went outside together and released them because were Indigenous painted lady butterflies. This program was so great that the New Horizons grant is paying for butterfly kits at all the senior centres this year.”

science festival
Dedes shows off some of the framed butterfly art.

But that’s not all.

Dedes also announced that they will be revisiting each centre later on, where ten volunteers at each location will get to make a beautiful framed butterfly where they can hang them on their wall or give them to their families.

Two lucky seniors at the Davey Home, Cecile and Paulie, received them as a gift this morning.

As stated by David Nanang, Director General of the Great Lakes Forestry Centre, “The Sault is a small city with a big science community,” and events like this only prove how we continue to grow, evolve, and create as a community through innovative and inclusive ideas and technologies.

The Festival will highlight science and technology through several activities including:

  • Science for Seniors – Insects for Seniors lead by Entomica, April 23rd-27th
  • Science Innovation and Math programs, April 24th, 25th, 27th
  • Under the Same Starts: Miinwaadiziwin, Science North Portable Planetarium, offered by Science North, April 24th, 25th, 27th
  • Science Olympics lead by Science North in partnership with Algoma University, April 25th
  • ARTIE (Advanced Research & Technology Innovation Expo) offered by Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, April 26th
  • Hangar After Dark: Sex, Wine, and Chocolate (19+) at the Canadian Bushplane Museum, April 27th
  • Science Carnival at The Machine Shop, April 28th

Festival activities are supported in part by the Government of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Education.

The Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival group of partners includes Algoma University, Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, Entomica, Invasive Species Centre, Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Sault College, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Science North as the managing partner.

The 2018 Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival is co-presented by Quattro Hotel, CTV, Rogers and supported by Fountain Tire, the Machine Shop and Village Media.

For more information on the Science Festival, click here.

For more information on the newly released New Horizons funding, click here.