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UTSC gets wild with science at the Toronto Zoo

Professor Malcolm Campbell delivers a talk at Science Rendezvous last year. The event will take place again at the Toronto Zoo on May 11. (Photo by Ken Jones)

An upcoming family-friendly event will take Zoo goers on a scientific journey to explore why birds are able to fly, how animals use their tails and what makes electric fish so shocking.

UTSC researchers and its Let's Talk Science program will partner with the Toronto Zoo on May 13 to present talks and demonstrations that use zoo animals to illustrate scientific concepts. The program is part of nationwide science festival organized by a grassroots group called Science Rendezvous.

“The activities at the zoo will bring to life the science that is found in nature,” says Professor Malcolm Campbell, vice-principal, research at UTSC.

“Those who take part will experience science like never before through exciting demonstrations and displays for people of all ages to discover the marvels of the natural world.”

A demonstration called “Flap your wings and point your beak” will delve into why birds are able to fly and use their beaks, followed by a talk on Hummingbirds by Chris Chen. “Waterwise” will explore ways in which our water becomes polluted, and will be accompanied by a talk by Nathan Lovejoy on the “shocking tale” of electric fish.

“The bug show” will get people up close and personal with creepy crawlers and will be followed by a presentation by Maydianne Andrade on how insects use sounds and vibration to communicate.  Finally, “Polar bear express” will look at the impact climate change is having on polar bears followed by a presentation by Bill Gough.

Other interactive displays and activities include picking a healthy meal for gorillas and pandas, casting a line to catch fish and learning about the different ways animals use their tails.

The aim of the event is to highlight and promote all aspects of science, with the ultimate goal being to inspire young people to study science and technology in the future. 

More information is available here.

© University of Toronto Scarborough