Jan Cami

Dr. Jan Cami’s adventures into the wonders of science communication

Dr. Jan Cami is the faculty lead for Western Science Rendezvous and a professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. He is a scientist dedicated to explaining science to the local London community. Outside of being the faculty lead for Western Science Rendezvous, he also holds public events at the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory.

Dr. Cami has played a pivotal role in ensuring this annual event celebrating STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) connects science to the younger generation of learners.

“Our main objective for Science Rendezvous is to inspire kids and stimulate their curiosity in science. An event like this can plant a seed that may eventually grow a child’s interests in science and technology and maybe even have them consider careers in the field.”

The Evolution and expansion of Western Science Rendezvous

Spearheaded by Dr. Cami, Science Rendezvous at Western University began its journey in 2016 when Dr. Cami first heard about the national event and wanted to expand it to Western University. He ran the first Western Science Rendezvous event in 2017.

What started out as a modest endeavour by Dr. Cami has evolved into a thriving platform that draws in thousands of attendees and hundreds of volunteers each year. Last year alone the event boasted over 4500 attendees and engaged the support of 400 volunteers.

Reflecting on the event’s growth, Dr. Cami emphasizes the collaborative effort that drives the event’s success. 

“With the support of dozens of graduate students my role has gradually shifted. We have now essentially built a manual on how to organize this event over the years.”

With seven dedicated organizing committees and over 50 passionate students leading the charge, Western Science Rendezvous has become a testament to teamwork and passion for science outreach at Western. He notes that his main role in the event has evolved from being the sole organizer of the event to being a cheerleader and supporter for all the student-run committees.

 “One of my main roles right now is just making sure that people feel appreciated for what they do. I don’t take it for granted that people donate many hours of their free time into organizing an event as big as this.”

Reflections on the importance of accessibility

For Dr. Cami, accessibility lies at the heart of Science Rendezvous. He aims to inspire all children and parents alike through hands-on experiences and interactive exhibits. 

“Last year, for the first time, we had an ASL interpreter present on stage during demonstrations. Just seeing how the interpreter could connect with some of the kids and seeing how engaged they were with science meant a lot to me.”

Dr. Cami notes that Western Science Rendezvous aims to improve its accessibility efforts every year to encourage all its participants to explore scientific concepts in a fun and approachable way.

The legacy of Western Science Rendezvous

According to Dr. Cami, Science Rendezvous is not just a one-day event, but a celebration of discovery and learning for all ages. From customized fireworks shows to interactive experiments, every moment is designed to inspire awe and wonder in attendees of all ages.

“Western Science Rendezvous is a great day to discover the wonders of the universe. I think it’s a fantastic event for parents and kids alike because we organize our events with families in mind. Ultimately, I hope that both children and their parents can learn something.”

As Western Science Rendezvous continues to evolve and expand, Dr. Jan Cami’s dedication to STEAM education remains. Through Dr. Cami’s leadership and passion, he continues to shape the minds of future scientists, one experiment at a time.

Come to Western University’s Science Rendezvous May 11, 2024 at Alumni Stadium to see Dr. Cami and all the amazing science exhibits and demonstrations!