May 11, 2019 8:23 pm
Updated: May 11, 2019 8:24 pm

Science Rendezvous Kingston draws thousands to downtown

WATCH: Organizers say upwards of 5,000 people came out to check out the displays at 2019 Science Rendezvous Kingston.

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Parking was at a premium on Saturday, as the ninth-annual Science Rendezvous brought people to downtown Kingston and the Leon’s Centre.

Big crowds — in fact, organizers say upward of 5,000 — came out to check out the displays. Sixty exhibitors filled the arena, with 75 per cent of them being from Queen’s University, while others came from Royal Military College, St. Lawrence College as well as the community.

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There seemed to be something for everyone, including a 40-foot dinosaur and a real astronaut. Lynda Colgan is the event coordinator and co-founder.

“What we’re hoping is that we inspire a little curiousity,” Colgan said. “That we inspire that little niggle, that helps the kids to say, ‘I want to know more about that, I want to read about that, I want to do that,’ and basically that will grow.”

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Hundreds of budding scientists were learning everything they could, from chemistry to biology to neuroscience. Colgan agrees that youth is the future when it comes to science. Canadian astronaut and Queen’s University alumnus Drew Feustel took part in a couple of question-and-answer sessions.

“This is a great local and regional opportunity for the school (Queen’s) to share the work that they’re doing,” Feustel said, “for the students to come out and share their enthusiasm for science.”

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It wasn’t that long ago that Feustel was commanding the International Space Station. In fact, he’s been in space on three different occasions.

“The last flight, flying with the Russians to the International Space Station, I was in orbit for 197 days so that was a real opportunity to live and work in space and to be able to watch the earth go by over and over again,” Feustel reminisced. “We saw 16 sunrises and sunsets every day and it’s just magical up there.”

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Colgan says when she wrote a letter to NASA inviting Feustel, she never in a million years thought he’d attend. In fact, it looks like with Feustel’s appearance along with the many other attractions, Kingston will once again be the highest-attended science rendezvous in the country.

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