Science Rendezvous recognizes SFU Science Outreach creativity with national award

February 21, 2024

The SFU Science Outreach team has received a national award for creativity and resilience for successfully hosting Science Rendezvous and International Astronomy Day in person at SFU Burnaby campus for the first time since 2019.

The Science Rendezvous Creative Award recognizes individuals and groups for creating an outstanding Science Rendezvous event, engaging the community, and bringing exciting research and STEM experiences and programming to the public.

“Science Rendezvous at SFU is a tradition. You hardly need to remind people that it’s happening,” says Cynthia Henson, SFU Science outreach and engagement manager, who has organized the event for almost a decade.

“In 2020 we had to cancel and in 2021 and 2022 we did it virtually. I think people missed that tradition, so it was a way of bringing our community back together in person.”

The judges cited Henson's consistency in program delivery, attention to relationships, and ability to organize a well-orchestrated team effort as crucial to the success of SFU's Science Rendezvous events.

Each year SFU Science hosts the largest event in BC with hands-on activities and presentations from various scientific fields. The 2023 event included two live Science in Action Magic Chemistry Shows, hands-on activities ranging from DNA extraction, to building volcanic eruptions, a range of physics displays including a bicycle generator, superconducting train and Van de Graaff generator, as well as digital dissections with SFU’s Anatomage Table.

Members of the Royal Astronomical Society were on hand to celebrate International Astronomy Day with solar telescopes, interactive displays and Trottier Observatory tours.

Science Rendezvous runs thanks to the dedication of many student, staff and community volunteers. “SFU is seen as model site. It is the largest event in BC, in terms of participants, and the number of events and people involved,” Henson says.

“People missed it, and I felt that when we did our volunteer and exhibitor call-out. It was an easy task. People just wanted to come back.”

Mark your calendars! Science Rendezvous and International Astronomy Day are returning to SFU on May 11, 2024. Sign up for our monthly Science in Action newsletter for updates about SFU Science outreach events.