Inuvik Science Rendezvous incorporates arts and music

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Inuvik’s 4th annual Science Rendezvous drew 30 exhibitors from the community and approximately 300 visitors interested in learning about STEM topics – and art.

Lilly Sanderson tries out the fire extinguisher simulator at the Inuvik Fire Department booth.
Samantha McKay/NNSL photo

Typically, the event is a celebration and exploration of science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM. This year’s theme for the Science Rendezvous was Full STEAM Ahead – with the extra “A” standing for arts.

The Science Rendezvous is an annual event that takes place in 300 cities across Canada.

Science Rendezvous organizer and Aurora Research Institute outreach coordinator Annika Trimble said the event in Inuvik always aims to showcase the science behind the community, but this year’s theme makes the event more inclusive.

“Today we have special displays out for photography and light and sound, and we even have a music interactive station with instruments for people to try,” said Trimble. “You find in the schools or with robotics club, maybe someone doesn’t love math or they don’t do great in their science classes but they’re really creative and they just get into the technical stuff because they have a passion for whatever medium it is that they’re working in.”

David Ross, left, shows Teagan Ward how to play a note.
Samantha McKay/NNSL photo

Trimble said this year’s Science Rendezvous is a way for people to explore a different side of science.

“Science isn’t just what happens in school or in a lab,” she said. “We have connections to that when we’re on the land, when we’re enjoying a movie or music, when we are navigating the Delta, or when we’re getting Internet videos from down south.”

There were several booths that showcased the arts side of science, including a photography exhibit and a booth showcasing the art made by Aurora College’s Merging Arts and Crafts with Technology and Manufacturing students this year.

Glen Brake, founder of the Western Arctic School of Music (WASM), also had a booth at the Science Rendezvous in partnership with David Ross.

Bernice Kadatz, left, shows Lily Sommerfeld some worms at the Inuvik Community Greenhouse booth.
Samantha McKay/NNSL photo

Brake said the WASM booth showcased the arts by exhibiting the science of sound.

“Theory for music is all about math. Music is very technical,” said Brake. “This is a showcase of everything that goes into music – the way the instruments are made, the instrumentation and how each instrument is different.”

He said the importance of understanding the technical aspects of music is often underestimated.

“Music is like a house. You have to have a good foundation, and then you can build up from there. You have to know how to read blueprints in order to build that house, which is where music theory comes in and knowledge of the instrument,” he said. “When you understand what you’re playing, it makes you a better musician.”

He added that thanks to overwhelming community support, WASM will be open to the public this summer.