The Magic of Science is All Around Us

Article by: Nina S Rafeek

It’s finally here! Science Literacy Week.

From Whitehorse, Yukon to St. John’s, Newfoundland, Science Literacy Week is a nation-wide initiative and a celebration of all things science.  It was created to inspire curiosity and to promote engagement with the world of science.  This week, participants will have the opportunity to explore the diversity and ubiquity of the sciences such as astronomy, geology, medicine, physics and engineering.

Science Literacy Week has its roots right here at the University of Toronto.  It was founded by alumnus Jesse Hildebrand, graduate of Ecology and self-professed “life-long nerd” who’s heroes are Carl Sagan and David Attenborough.  This is the third year of the event and it is bigger than ever!  “Science Literacy Week is simply a primer, a push to encourage lifelong learning and a push to see just how wonderful science can be”, says Hildebrand.

During the week of September 19th, science-related events, displays, and interactive activities will be happening throughout the city of Toronto.  The week’s events will be held at various libraries, universities, museums and laboratories. Activities will also be taking place outdoors which are designed to explore the wonders of the stars in the sky and the rocks of the earth.

Numerous events and displays will be found across all three U of T campuses such as a display of rare, early scientific works at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, a live demonstration of a 3D printer in action, a nature walk and even a sampling of food of the future at the Future Food Fair, just to name a few.

Also, be sure to visit the libraries around the campuses, for this year’s theme, Science Fiction: From Idea to Invention. There will be a display of intriguing science-themed books (not textbooks!) and resources for recommended novels, books, videos and podcasts.

To sign up and view the full schedule of the exciting activities and informative displays around the three U of T campuses, click here! http://guides.library.utoronto.ca/scienceliteracy2016

Jesse Hildebrand shared his thoughts on what makes this year’s Sci-Lit week unique:

“There are a lot more makerspace activities this year which I particularly like.  If you can build something and use neat tools to do so I think you’re likely to be inspired to learn more.  I’m also quite happy to see more events in nature – public hikes, bird banding, star parties – science is at its best in the field I think, and giving people a chance to get outside and see the wonderful world around them is always lovely.”

The events and activities during Sci-Lit week are welcome to everyone.

To sign up and view a schedule of the events around the city check out the Sci-Lit 2016 websitehttp://scienceliteracy.ca