Hundreds of elementary school students from both school boards took part in the kickoff of the fifth annual Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival at the Sault Community Theatre Centre Tuesday.
The event included Franco Mariotti, a former Science North employee and public speaker, and a film entitled Mysteries of the Great Lakes.
A series of speakers encouraged the young audience to get involved in science.
“We are passionate as a team to communicate science and make that relevant...we really want to engage youth and children to aspire toward science and technology careers in their future,” said Lora Clausen, Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival chair and Science North senior scientist of northern initiatives.
“The youth are very engaged. We get very positive responses from the communities we visit,” Clausen said, speaking to SooToday.
“I think this is a great celebration of science and I’m so glad that Sault Ste. Marie has continued to promote science in this way through this festival,” said Brandon Schamp, Algoma University science professor, speaking to Tuesday’s audience.
More to the point, and in a witty way, Peter Bruijns, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) executive director, said “there are so many problems out there for you guys to work on, so grow up and go deal with them and have fun doing it.”
The festival includes the Innovation Centre’s 12th annual Advanced Research Technology Innovation Expo (ARTIE), expected to attract 1,200 participants from Grades 1 to 8 and 15 exhibitors at Algoma University for interactive activities and demonstrations Thursday.
“You are the future generation...the people who will make the impossible possible,” said John Dedes, Entomica president and CEO.
The festival will also include Entomica’s Science for Seniors from Tuesday through Thursday, in which seniors at local retirement homes are treated to a closer look at the world of insects.
The festival wraps up with the Science Carnival (for all ages) at The Machine Shop from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
For a closer look at the Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival, check out Science North’s website
Sudbury’s Science North is the festival’s managing partner, working with 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 the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library.