May 14, 2010 (Toronto, ON) - The third annual Science Rendezvous festival opened its doors on May 8 to a world of innovation and discovery. The festival was a free public display of science culture across the GTA, including Mount Sinai Hospital and its Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute.
Trainees and graduate students from several of the Lunenfeld’s leading-edge labs were enthusiastic volunteers who coordinated interactive workshops, delivered engaging presentations with colourful displays, and conducted tours of a few Lunenfeld labs. The event attracted over 200 people — adults, kids, family, and even some Sinai staff.
Keen volunteers showed participants how toextract DNA from a banana; explore their senses with ‘brain games’ on handedness and depth perception; discern the genetic differences between flies and worms; and use cutting-edge techniques to understand the genetics of human diseases.
Participants also engaged with displays and presentations on cracking the genetic code; stem cell biology; pipetting; blood pressure and heart rate; the effects of smoking; digestion; and more.
“It’s great that Mount Sinai Hospital and other institutions participated in Science Rendezvous,” said one visitor at the event. “It helps increase public understanding of the important role science plays in our society.”
Mount Sinai’s involvement in the Science Rendezvous was led by Lorien Newell (Outreach Coordinator), and included dedicated efforts from 35 graduate students from SciHigh—the Lunenfeld’s youth outreach program that delivers hands-on science workshops to more than 5,000 elementary and high school students each year, including children from many inner-city impoverished neighbourhoods.
“Science Rendezvous is an amazing opportunity to showcase all the great science happening in Ontario and specifically here at the Lunenfeld,” said Newell. “It allows families to get a glimpse into the leading-edge research being conducted daily by Lunenfeld investigators, and gives the public a better understanding of complex scientific concepts.”
One of the largest grassroots events of its kind in Canada, Science Rendezvous launched its inaugural festival in May 2008 in the Toronto region. The partnering institutes and organizations continue to expand on their success in attracting thousands of curious science enthusiasts to discover the wonders of science in the world around them.
In addition to Mount Sinai Hospital, this year’s partners included the University of Toronto, Harbourfront Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, Indigo/Chapters, MaRS Discovery District, The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences, Ontario College of Art and Design, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Ontario Science Centre, University Health Network, Ryerson University, and York University, among others.