../Morning Post
Posted October 21, 2009
Gem and Minerals

Waterloo holds annual science open house, gem and mineral show this weekend

WATERLOO - An annual science open house at the University of Waterloo will introduce children and their parents to a variety of scientific experiments this weekend, including some involving quantum computing and nanotechnology.

The free event, hosted by Waterloo's faculty of science, offers activities and demonstrations directed at children from kindergarten to grade eight, as well as their families.

Events for the science open house take place on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Centre for Environmental and Information Technology (CEIT) on Waterloo's south campus. The centre houses the earth sciences museum, which presents the associated gem and mineral show, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday.

"Our science open house and the gem and mineral show offer a range of fun and educational activities for the whole family," said Peter Russell, curator of the museum. "These events allow Waterloo's faculty of science and Engineering Science Quest to share their passion for science."

This year's open house will also feature new activities from the Institute for Quantum Computing, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and the department of biology. Biology activities include banana DNA extraction and how to create your own plant.

The departments of chemistry and physics and astronomy will also offer activities such as fun with dry ice, turning copper into gold, making pop bottle rockets and mentos geysers.

The popular chemistry magic show will take place at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the Biology 1 building, room 271.

The gem and mineral show will feature a rock pile for young collectors, gold panning and digging for fossil fish and ancient shark teeth. Other demonstrations include rock-sphere making and hand-faceting gems. Emily Damstra, a scientific illustrator, will also be on hand to display some of her work on fossils.

Participants can also take part in hands-on activities from Mining Matters. This year's show theme is Fossils and Minerals of Ontario, and presents a display by Tim Elliot called Minerals from the Lafarge Quarry in Dundas, Ontario.

On Sunday, Waterloo earth scientist Alan Morgan will give a special lecture at 2 p.m. in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. The talk is entitled In The Footsteps of Darwin.

A carbon grill barbecue, cooking up hamburgers and hot dogs, will offer lunch for visitors, outside the west entrance to the CEIT.

Parking is available in the M Lot (off of Columbia), the N lot (north end of campus off of Ring road) or the B lot (off of Phillip), for $4, $3 and $3 respectively, on entrance. For more information, call 519-888-4567 ext. 32469 or visit http://www.openhouse.uwaterloo.ca/ www.openhouse.uwaterloo.ca/.

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