media release

Celebrate the skies on Astronomy Day

May 06, 2014

Howard Trottier, 778.782.4475;
Diane Mar-Nicolle, 778.782.9586;
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;

Telescopes, rocket displays and even a mobile planetarium will be among features of International Astronomy Day celebrations at Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus May 10.

Free activities and lectures will highlight the event as part of Science Rendezvous, Canada’s largest science festival, designed to promote public engagement via interactive science activities, demonstrations and lab experiences.

“This event is a wonderful example of the breadth and reach of SFU's science outreach program, and of our cooperation with other like-minded organizations in the community, notably the Vancouver Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC),” says SFU physics professor Howard Trottier.

“This is the first year that SFU's Science Rendezvous and Vancouver RASC's Annual Astronomy Day will be held in tandem, and together we could easily top 1,000 guests—most of them, young families.”

Both SFU and the Vancouver RASC hold science outreach events year round. “Their consistent popularity demonstrates the public's fascination with science, and our ability to quench that curiosity,” Trottier adds.

Activities will run indoors during the day in the Academic Quadrangle, South and East Concourse 3000 level from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., including an Amazing Science Chase (a twist on the hit TV show that challenges the mind and the body), an “explosive” chemistry show, and a variety of lab demonstrations.

Visitors can also take in a solar system display, crafts, astronomy bingo and 30-minute lectures on topics such as the Apollo space missions, the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), and John Dobson, the inventor of the Dobsonian telescope.

At 9 p.m. visitors are invited to participate in an evening star gazing event, on the lawn south of Strand Hall, where the new Trottier Observatory will be built later this year.

Once open, Trottier says the Vancouver RASC will be an essential partner in the operation of the SFU teaching and public outreach facility, which will serve as an ongoing example of the commitment of both to community engagement.

What: SFU celebration of International Astronomy Day/Science Rendezvous
When: Saturday, May 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Where: SFU’s Burnaby campus, AQ, south/east Concourse and near Strand Hall

Free parking is provided in B lot.

More information about the national event:

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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