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Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


Science Odyssey is Canada's largest annual celebration of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. From May 4-19, 2019, universities, museums, research centres and laboratories across the country will host fun, engaging and inspiring science outreach events for Canadians of all ages.

Laurier is participating in Science Odyssey for the first time in 2019, with a slate of activities for a range of ages and interests. Come fly a foam plane and learn about aerodynamics. Meet Rosie the tarantula. Build a water filter. Learn about faculty research through public lectures. No matter what you choose, you will discover, learn and enjoy.

We have a full day of activities for families on Saturday, May 4, on our Waterloo campus, plus other events throughout Science Odyssey, including in Brantford and Milton

Visitor Information

  • Parking is free at most white and gold permit lots on campus on weekends. Public transit and cycling are also great options.
  • Food and beverage options on campus will be limited. You are welcome to bring your own but please avoid eating during registered workshops and tours.

Saturday, May 4 Events

Unless otherwise indicated, all events take place or begin at the Science Atrium on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. All are free of charge.

Foam Airplane Fly-Off

Why do airliners change the shape of their wings to take off or land? Participants will use catapults to launch three versions of the same airplane, each with different wing shapes. They will then move to a discussion room, where they will discuss why the planes had different flying characteristics and how that relates to the changes to wing shape that an airliner goes through for takeoff or landing. At the end of the session, the participants get to keep their glider designed and made at Laurier’s Science Maker Lab.

  • Times: 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Duration: 30 minutes.
  • Location: Science Atrium.
  • Open to: Pre-registered children in grades 2 to 8, accompanied by an adult. Adults do not need to pre-register. Limit of 18 children per session.

Register at Eventbrite.

Hands On with Human Anatomy

Meet Laurier’s state-of-the-art synthetic cadavers, Rita and Sara, whose tissues are made of plant-based plastic but look and feel real. Once you don lab coats and gloves, you will have an opportunity to explore human anatomy, hands on, in our synthetic cadaver lab. Laurier experts will be available to answer your questions.

  • Times (all a.m.): 9:45, 10:15, 10:45, 11:15 and 11:45 a.m. 
  • Duration: 45 minutes.
  • Location: Tour leaving from Science Atrium.
  • Open to: Pre-registered participants aged 10 and up. Children aged 10-14 must be accompanied by an adult. Limit of 20 participants per session.
  • Note: Participants must wear closed-toe shoes and long hair must be tied back. Space permitting, appropriately attired drop-in participants may be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Register at Eventbrite.

Science Odyssey Drop-In Booths

Laurier’s Science Atrium will be full of opportunities to get hands on with science, such as:

  • Her Spacetime: An exhibit featuring the stories of five incredible women in science, told through artwork by Tharanga Goonetilleke. Each scientist's portrait reflects aspects of their science and lives, and is paired with an interactive demo station run by the Laurier Centre for Women in Science.
  • Playing with Perception: Participants will have the opportunity to try on perception googles that trick the brain into seeing things differently than it should. Try a variety of challenging activities while wearing the googles, as well as a brain puzzle to discuss which parts of the brain work together as it processes information. Presented by JUMP.
  • Salty Science: Salt flavours our food and improves winter driving, but it can also end up in our streams, rivers, and lakes. To solve this and many other water quality issues, researchers strive to improve water treatment methods. This drop-in activity for ages 5 and up will give you a chance to build a simple water filter, test your results using real lab equipment, and learn a little bit of science. Presented by AquaSONG.
  • Sustainability Science: Drop by our displays and talk to students working on Laurier sustainability projects at the Northdale Garden including a pollinator garden, native bee houses, bee spiral, food forest, Young City Growers and KW Urban Harvester vegetable gardens, and Indigenous Student Centre greenhouse plantings. Presented by the Laurier Sustainability Office.
  • BrainWorx: Have fun with activities that will teach you about memory and the brain. Presented by BrainWorx Summer Camp.

Drop-In Booth Details

  • Time: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Location: Science Atrium.
  • Open to: All.

Incredible Invertebrates

How much do you know about life in freshwater environments? Invertebrates (animals without backbones) make up most of the life on this planet but are often overlooked due to their small size. Join Tony the lab tech and Rosie the tarantula for a fun and informative introduction to aquatic invertebrates. Using a short presentation, field sampling tools, microscopes and guidance from our team, teens will get an opportunity to explore aquatic ecosystems in a fun and interactive way.

  • Times: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Location: Tour leaving from Science Atrium.
  • Duration: Approximately 45 minutes.
  • Open to: Pre-registered students in grades 9-12. Parents are also welcome to register. Limit of 32 participants per session.

Register at Eventbrite.

The Hidden Micro-World

microscopic seednLearn how a scanning electron microscope works and examine various samples. The lab studies plant diversity, but we'll also try other familiar samples – you might be surprised to discover how they look when magnified. Presented by the Laurier Herbarium.

  • Times: 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
  • Location: Tour leaving from Science Atrium.
  • Duration: 30 minutes.
  • Open to: Pre-registered participants aged six and up. Children must be accompanied by adults, who must also pre-register. Limit of six participants per session.

Register at Eventbrite.

Simultaneous Chess Exhibition

Can you beat a skilled but very busy chess player? Members of Laurier Chess Club take on up to 20 players at once in simultaneous chess matches. Other Chess Club members will be on hand to answer questions and to demonstrate laser chess and chess puzzles. Players compete against chemistry professor Vladimir Kitaev at 10:30 a.m. and against Josh Terry, Laurier’s highest-ranked student player, at 1 p.m.

  • Times: 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Duration: May vary; expect 1-2 hours.
  • Location: Science Atrium.
  • Open to: Players aged 14 and under for 10:30 a.m. session; players aged 15 and over for 1 p.m. session. All skill levels welcome, though players should have a basic understanding of the game. Limit of 20 participants per session. Spectators welcome without registration.

Register at Eventbrite.

Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science Tour

Visit the state-of-the-art water science and ecosystem research labs and rooftop greenhouse at Laurier’s northern-focused collaborative research facility. Learn about the research that takes place at the Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science as well as in the North.

  • Times: 2 p.m., 2:20 p.m. and 2:40 p.m.
  • Duration: 15-20 minutes.
  • Location: Meet directly at 65 Lodge St., Waterloo.
  • Open to: Pre-registered participants. Most suitable for teens and adults. Limit of 24 participants per session.
  • Note: Participants must wear closed shoes – no sandals or flip-flops.

Register at Eventbrite.

Food Forest and Sustainability Initiatives Tour

Learn about the evolving food forest and other food security and pollinator initiatives at Laurier’s Northdale campus. We will walk for approximately 10 minutes to the Northdale campus site and view the evolving ecosystem elements including: plans for a pollinator spiral garden, existing pollinator habitat and upcoming pollinator garden installation, community gardens, and pergola and outdoor seating space.

  • Time: 1 p.m.
  • Duration: 40 minutes.
  • Location: Tour leaving from Science Atrium.
  • Open to: Pre-registered participants of all ages. Limit of 20 participants.
  • Note: Please wear sturdy walking shoes – no open-toed shoes permitted. Note there are stairs and uneven grass-covered ground (not accessible). Site may be muddy. No washroom or handwashing facilities.

Register at Eventbrite.

Campus Tours

What is life like at Laurier? Take a campus tour and find out firsthand from one of our Golden Hawk ambassadors. We have two options for you:

  • Comprehensive campus tours, geared towards prospective students and their families. These tours include information about what to expect in first year and include facilities such as residence buildings and food service locations.
  • Shortened tours, geared towards the general public, including families. These tours give a broad overview of university life and do not focus exclusively on science.

Comprehensive Campus Tour

  • Times: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Location: Meet at the Waterloo Welcome Centre, P107, Frank Peters Building.
  • Duration: 90 minutes.
  • Open to: Prospective students and their families (pre-registered).
  • Register at Waterloo Campus Tours.

Shortened Campus Tour

  • Times: 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Location: Tour leaving from Science Atrium.
  • Duration: 60 minutes.
  • Open to: All (pre-registered).
  • Register at Eventbrite.

Evening and Other Events

May 4: Day with a Difference – Cambridge

Day with a Difference is a one-day conference for girls in Grades 7 and 8 in WRDSB schools. The day is organized by the local ETFO Girls' Conference Committee in coordination with Conestoga College. It is an exciting day filled with hands on workshops offered by female presenters, including from Laurier, in fields of science, math and technology.

  • Time: 8:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, May 4
  • Location: Conestoga College, Cambridge campus

See Day with a Difference for registration information.

May 7: The Smart Silver Economy: Aging meets Digital – Public Lecture, Brantford

In 2016, the number of older adults in Canada surpassed the number of children. Lower fertility rates, increasing life expectancy and the baby boomers aging will mean that in 20 years, almost one in four Canadians will be over the age of 60. The Silver Economy is a term that has been used to refer to economic activity associated with meeting the needs of seniors. In this lecture, Associate Professor Josephine McMurray will explore how technology might be used to help organizations and communities manage the impact of a growing number of older adults, but better still how they can thrive by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in the health and age-related technology sector. Presented in partnership with Brantford Public Library.

  • Time: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 7
  • Location: Brantford Public Library, 173 Colborne St., second floor open space

Free, no registration required.

May 7: Waste Not, Want Not: Rethinking Wastewater Treatment – Public Lecture, Waterloo

Global water shortages, improved standards of living in emerging economies, and aging infrastructure are creating opportunities for wastewater treatment and reuse technologies. Now is the perfect time to rethink methods of treating wastewater with a new emphasis on resource recovery. Lecture by Professor Scott Smith. Presented by Laurier Alumni.

  • Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 7
  • Location: 45 Lodge Street, Waterloo

Free, no registration required.

May 8: The Changing Face of Canada's Boreal Forests – Public Lecture, Milton

Learn about how climate change is driving changes in boreal forests globally in a lecture by Laurier Associate Professor Jennifer Baltzer, Canada Research Chair in Forests and Global Change. Part of the Laurier Milton Lecture Series, presented by Laurier, the Town of Milton and the Milton Public Library.

  • Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 8
  • Location: First Ontario Arts Centre, Milton

Free, no registration required.

May 8: Cannabis Legalization – Public Lecture, Brantford

After a century of prohibition, cannabis is now legal in Canada. This lecture will provide an overview of the psychological and biological effects of recreational and medicinal cannabis, and discuss new cannabis laws and anticipated outcomes of legalization. Associate Professor Bruce MacKay is chair-elect of Laurier’s Department of Psychology. Presented in partnership with Brantford Public Library.

  • Time: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 8
  • Location: Brantford Public Library, 173 Colborne St., second floor open space

Free, no registration required.

Contact Us:

E: scienceinquiries@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x2129
F: 519.884.0464
Office Location: Science Building main floor, N1048, Waterloo campus

Science Building Hours

Monday–Thursday: 6 a.m.–11 p.m.
Friday: 6 a.m.–9 p.m.
Weekends/Holidays: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

Dean of Science Office Hours

Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

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