Cool Science Saturday

Cool Science Saturday at Ottawa's City Hall

Warm up with Canada's National Research Council (NRC) and its partners for one of the COOLEST science adventures of the season! During this special NRC centennial exposition, scientists and engineers from various labs and government organizations will come together to offer fun and fascinating activities, experiments, displays and demonstrations. Family fun and chilling science activities await you at Cool Science Saturday!

Cool Science


Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa


Saturday, February 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The activity is free of charge


The activity is presented in English and in French


Cool Science Youth Lecture Series

February 13, 2016 -- Ottawa, Ontario

List of Speakers:

10:00 AM – Dr. Alex Szabo and Professor Paul Corkum – Building the first laser in Canada – trials, challenges and what that technology means today. See Canada’s first laser on display! (available in English only)

1:00 PM – Dr. Sue Twine – Bacteria: Friend or foe?
Did you know you have up to 10 pounds of bacteria in your body? Learn how it all impacts our body.

2:30 PM – Erik Sherwood – Video games vs. Engineering and Design
Discover how the principles found in some video games resemble engineering applications. A 3D printer will help take us from concept to prototype.

4:00 PM – Dick Bourgeois Doyle and Laurence Wall – Don’t be a butt head – How collaboration sparks innovation. Dick Bourgeois-Doyle, Secretary General to NRC and celebrated author, shares decades of innovative successes by teams of world leaders in Science. (available in English only)


Full list of partners and activities:

Display TitleOrganizationDescription
Aerodynamics : What a drag!National Research Council of CanadaA learning experience and activity for kids of all ages.  You will be given a brief overview of aerodynamic drag and how we use a wind tunnel to measure it, along with model vehicles that have high drag (a cube van) and low drag (a race car).  Use toy vehicles along with some modelling clay, and come up with your own drag reduction device.  Once you're done, have your car tested in the wind tunnel. The participant with the lowest drag wins a prize!
Astronaut for a Day – Do You Have the Right Stuff?Canadian Space AgencyHave you ever dreamed of becoming an astronaut? Canada's astronauts are modern-day explorers who are constantly being challenged to act as pilots, doctors, scientists, mechanics and television personalities. Visit our booth to learn about their work and the training they pursue in order to explore space.
Biodiversity Conservancy InternationalBiodiversity Conservancy InternationalLocated in Canada’s Capital Greenbelt, the Pinhey Sand Dunes (PSD), formed over 10,000 years ago is a unique environment where temperatures on the sandy surface can reach as high as 70o C.  The dune habitat supports a surprising number of desert-dwelling organisms, including species so rare that they are found nowhere else in the Greenbelt and most part of Ontario. Join scientists from Biodiversity Conservancy International, who will guide you through a virtual tour of the PSD via videos, photos and preserved dune specimens such as Tiger Beetles, Sand Wasps, Bees, Velvet Ants, Giant Robber Flies, Ant Lions, and Wolf Spiders... They will also explain how and when the PSD was formed and how a small part of it is being restored and preserved.
Canadian House Dust StudyHealth CanadaHave you ever wondered what is in your house dust? The Canadian House Dust Study looks at the composition of indoor dust, which is influenced by factors such as house age, renovations and hobbies, and the products that we use.
Chemical MagiciansCanada Foundation for Innovation Let the magic of chemistry dazzle you! Carleton University’s Chemical Magicians, hosted by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), will show you chemistry like you’ve never seen before. Stop by the CFI’s booth to witness a magic show like no other.
Discover AgricultureAgriculture and Agri-food CanadaStop by our face board and transform yourself into a GIANT BLUEBERRY! Twitter your photo to friends and while you are here, learn about the fascinating agricultural research that has taken place on behalf of Canada over the last 125 years. Don’t forget to ask us for our special recipe book and activity sheets.
Do you care for air?Health CanadaExplore the fascinating world of air science with Health Canada’s Air Program. Learn more about the indoor air quality by measuring simulated air pollution, doing fun games, including educational puzzles and a popular children’s game called “paper fortune tellers”, and by testing your lung force.
Eject ! Eject ! Eject !Canada Aviation and Space MuseumLearn how an ejection seat can save a pilot’s life, try on the gear, and see how the technology behind this equipment can keep a pilot safe!
Engineering ChallengeProfessional Engineers OntarioLocal volunteers fro professional engineers Ottawa will help you build the tallest, strongest and most creative structures. Our experience and knowledge will encourage budding engineers and help guide the future generation of designers and technology builders.
Everyday Nuclear EnergyCanadian Nuclear Safety CommissionThe Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has educational and fun tools to help you better understand nuclear science.  By visiting our booth, you will be able to:
• learn about radiation in a hands-on fun way
• snoop inside our online history timeline
• view some interesting videos 
• get cool giveaways
Husky Winterization – Cold Weather Mine Detection!National Research Council of CanadaCanada’s EROC Husky is great at detecting hidden IEDs and land mines, but it was developed in South Africa. What did the National Research Council do to make it work in colder climates?
Lego and Robots! Build and control with Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC)Defence Research and Development CanadaNavigate an obstacle course using a remote controlled Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Explosive (CBRNE) Hazards (EPOCH) Robot. A defence scientist will facilitate and kids will be able to build a specific object out of Lego while wearing a variety of personal protective gloves.
Let's Talk ScienceLet's Talk ScienceDo you know how to make a non-Newtonian fluid? Do you know how to extract DNA from a banana? Have you ever tried to build a radio circuit that works!? Come try out these fun activities with our volunteers. These hands on activities are exciting and help teach you about fluid viscosity, the properties of DNA, and electronic circuits.  You can make your own Silly Putty or Oobleck and see what frequencies are best to make it dance. Or you can learn to extract DNA from a banana and the science behind it! Find out how much like a banana you are! You can also try out our Snap Circuits kits and build electronic circuits that actually work to light up a light or tune into a radio station.
NRCan’s Science Adventure!Natural Resources CanadaCome and experience hands-on fun through the work and discoveries of Natural Resources Canada's very own scientists! This Science Adventure dares you to explore a mini erupting volcano, to bring your own rocks and fossils for identification and to learn the science behind popcorn and making your own toothpaste! You can even have your photo taken with Acasta Gneiss - the oldest rock in the world.
Physics: the world around us!Univerity of OttawaSo many things around us can be understood in simple scientific terms. From the microscopic world of atoms and living cells to astronomy via the weather and your mobile telephone! We will explore a few of those exciting phenomena. offers free science and technology resources that are carefully selected and organized by subject. Stop by and enjoy our Activity Books, videos, games, educational resources, and much more!
Scientists in SchoolScientists in SchoolHands-on science: The littlest children can become the scientist as they capture solar energy to create a work of art.  Discover centre of gravity while creating a balancing bird toy and make some good vibrations as you learn about the fundamentals of sound. 
Take a bite of scienceCanadian Food Inspection AgencyFollow the farm-to-fork path.
Insect Research: how and why does it matter?
• A real Research Scientist will show live (and not-so-live) insects.
How do we test animal feeds?
• Look through a microscope and see one of the ways.
How do we test your food?
• See food being tested; try it yourself.
TechnoSnowCanada Science and Technology Museums CorporationJoin the Canada Science and Technology Museum's team for an exciting day of science experiments. Participate in a "shocking" demonstration with our Van de Graaff generator, a "hair-raising" experience for everyone! Take a selfie with our thermal camera and discover how cold can be COOL!
The Franklin Expedition - Dive into Canada’s Arctic mysteriesParks CanadaVisit the Parks Canada Zone to learn about the 1845 Franklin Expedition and the discovery of Canada’s most famous shipwreck: HMS Erebus. Watch a video guided tour of HMS Erebus, meet the Parks Canada underwater archaeology team, and look at reproductions of objects found on the wreck.
Transportation Technology And Innovation – Investing In Our FutureTransport CanadaHow will we transport people and goods in the future? Are flying cars and airships a myth, or a reality? Drop by Transport Canada’s kiosk to get a nostalgic view of the past, and a glimpse of the future.