The student-run Spectrum science and technology exposition in Saskatoon was opened yesterday with a virtual guest in astronaut David Saint-Jacques from the International Space Station.
The Spectrum event is a triennial exposition on science and technology at the University of Saskatchewan and run by student volunteers from the College of Engineering.
Over 300 students participated in yesterday’s event which runs through Sunday. According to the organizers it “features displays, interactive exhibits, workshops, competitions, and speakers that explain and showcase scientific, engineering, and technological innovations.”
The event isn’t just for the university. It’s meant as a community event for the whole family.
Commenting on the exposition, Gillian Leach, Cameco Spectrum 2019 Coordinator and a civil engineering student at University of Saskatchewan said “the Spectrum team is very excited to kick off our event with a live stream with David! This is an incredible opportunity for us to partner with the CSA in our shared mission of promoting education and exploration in science and engineering!”
Also present was former astronaut David Williams a Saskatoon native. He said “it’s a very special day for me to see a fellow Canadian, David Saint-Jacques, in space, as I was there more than 10 years ago. As a Saskatoon native, I am pleased to see so many local students raising their eyes to space and seeing how science can open doors to new horizons!”
We had a lot of fun! Greats questions for @Astro_DavidS from the students & we were all thrilled with the answers & seeing him on the ISS!! @asc_csa @csa_asc https://t.co/wpb6CPAM0v
— Dave Williams (@AstroDaveMD) January 10, 2019
Yesterday’s event also included some 200 grade 6–9 students from schools across Saskatchewan.
For Saint-Jacques who has young children, sharing his adventure with young people is an important part of his mission. He said “several years ago, driven by curiosity and a passion for science and technology, I studied engineering to understand how things worked. I now have the humbling privilege to live this extraordinary adventure. It is the most incredible opportunity to keep learning and to gain a new and rare perspective on our planet, our universe and humanity.”
Saint-Jacques continues to participate in a wide variety of events meant to engage Canada’s youth. More events are upcoming as he continues his six month mission on the International Space Agency.