Steven RehseSteven Rehse demonstrates the basic principles of spectroscopy in this file photo from last year's research and creative activity showcase at Devonshire Mall. The physics professor will be at the event again this year.

Devonshire Mall event to help public better understand university research

Understanding academic research, especially in a discipline like physics, can be extremely difficult. A visit to Devonshire Mall this Saturday just might make it a little easier.

For the fifth consecutive year, the University’s Office of Research and Innovation Services will hold its annual showcase of research and creative activity at the mall, where shoppers can check out engaging, interactive displays, chat with professors and students, and get a better understanding of how research impacts their day to day lives.

“Everyone involved really goes out of their way to make it exciting and really easy to understand,” said Steven Rehse. A professor in physics, Dr. Rehse uses lasers to detect the presence of harmful bacteria on a variety of surfaces and will have an exhibit that relies on colorful lights to explain the science of spectroscopy.

A regular participant in the event, Rehse said he loves interacting with members of the general public and explaining the importance of his research to them.

“They don’t really get much of a chance to chat with us in a casual atmosphere,” he said. “People understand that teaching is an important part of a university education, but they often don’t realize that research and creative activity are equally important, the effect it has on our teaching, and how it improves the quality of education.”

Besides Rehse, the event will include professors from education, engineering, psychology, human kinetics, visual art, labour studies, social work, and languages who will be exhibiting displays covering everything from cancer research to preventing on-the-job injuries.

The displays will be set up in the courtyard area in front of the Bay store and will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Also on Saturday, Science Rendezvous, a free science carnival held every year at the university, will hold a preview event at the Chapters book store from 12-4 p.m. There will be multiple activities, including slime-making and fun dry ice demonstrations. Science Rendezvous will be held on May 10.

Academic Area: