On Saturday, May 11th, Science Rendezvous Kingston returned for its 14th edition one day in-person event at the Slush Puppy Place, with over 5,200 Kingstonians participating! The Department of Chemical Engineering was well represented with interactive booths in Biomedical Engineering, the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association (CEGSA) and the Open Plastic Consortium.

Science Rendezvous is Canada’s largest one-day pop-up Science Discovery Centre where people and science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics meet to celebrate Canada's research achievements. It aims to inspire and engage young Kingstonians and all citizens to participate in discovery, experimentation, and exploration in all areas of science. This year's theme was INNOVATE and there were 60 booths featuring topics ranging from wildlife conservation to robotics and climate change.

Engineering to heal: How biomedical engineers advance healthcare. This booth led by Lindsay Fitzpatrick and Laura Wells demonstrated how biomedical engineering uses everyday plastics and materials to design medical devices or to grow tissue. Visitors learned how materials can be used to support cells to grow new tissue and how important blood vessels are to this process and others. The booth was hosted by graduate students from the Fitzpatrick, Wells and De France Lab including Grace Ridell, Yuxi Zhang, Yidan Wen, Sumaiya Karim, Kathryn Jalink and Christopher Rayner.

From left to right, Grace Ridell, Yuxi Zhang, Yidan Wen and Sumaiya Karim.  

Liquid, light and living things. Led by The Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association (CEGSA), this booth invited scientists of all ages to come play with liquids, light, and living things! Visitors interacted with different fluids to see how they flow and stick, watched chemical reactions happen right before their eyes, tested the “glow” of household items, and found the link between math and chemistry with an orange juice experiment. Visitors also had the opportunity to magnify their vision at the biology table using a microscope to identify plants, cells and more. The booth was hosted by Rachel Baker, Peter Gilbert and students from the Baker, Koupaie, Hutchinson, Kontopoulou, and Cunningham labs including Lizzie Bygott (outgoing CEGSA President), Sandra Smeltzer, Haritha Haridas, Dante Flores, Florence Bullem (incoming CEGAS President), and Carolina Ordoñez Franco.

From left to right: Back - Peter Gilbert, Haritha Haridas, Sandra Smeltzer, Lizzie Bygott, Florence Bullem. Front – Dante Flores and Rachel Baker.

Left: Sandra Smeltzer, Haritha Haridas and Carolina Ordoñez Franco oversee the biology table where visitors can use a microscope to identify plants, cells and more. Right: Dante Flores walks visitors through a hands-on demonstration of Newtonian Fluids impacted by shear stress.

Recycling Plastic through nature. Hosted by the Open Plastic Consortium (Led by Laurence Yang and Jim McLellan), visitors learned about plastic recycling, its challenges, and how our biotechnologies can help overcome these challenges. They also had the opportunity to see mealworms eating plastic, bacteria with potential plastic degrading activities, and plastic degrading enzyme assays.