Science Literacy Week founder Jesse Hildebrand. (Contributed photo)

Celebrate science in September

Red Deer will join the rest of the country in a celebration of science next month.

The Red Deer Public Library will be hosting a few events for the fourth annual national Science Literacy Week from Sept. 18-24.

There were a number of ways libraries, schools and other institutions celebrated the week last year across the nation, including public talks, nature hikes, astronomy walks and even a beaver dissection.

This year in Red Deer there will be an interactive drop-in maker space at the Mezz downtown all week long, a “Mad Scientist Lab” program from 2-3 p.m. at the downtown branch on Sept. 23 and a science-themed pre-school program at 10 a.m. at the Dawe branch on Sept. 18. Also, all literacy programs at the downtown branch will be science themed through the week.

The week comes around the same time the library will begin to roll out the Red Deer Reads program, so there aren’t doing as many Science Literacy Week events as last year, but they definitely wanted to stay involved, said library assistant at the Dawe branch Lucinda Sheardown.

“We’re really excited to be a part of Science Literacy Week,” said Sheardown. “We try to have activities for lots of different patrons whether its arts or science.”

Science Literacy Week first started in 2014 as an event solely in Toronto. After a successful first year, event founder Jesse Hildebrand decided to attempt to make it a national program.

The week has continued to grow in its three years as a national event, with an expected 700 events nationwide happening in 2017 – up from the 500 event in 2016.

Seeing it grow so fast “blows my mind,” Hildebrand said. “It’s marvellous to be able to share how exciting the world and universe around us is with other people.”

Every year, Hildebrand gets to 10 or 12 Science Literacy Week events in Toronto. Knowing it’s not just him enjoying the week makes it worth all the work to get it together, he said.

“I get emails from librarians saying how it’s such an exciting week that they look forward to all year,” said Hildebrand.

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