Hundreds of school aged kids descended on the University of Alberta. They gathered in the Katz atrium a few short days before Halloween dressed up as characters from Harry Potter. No, this was not a Hogwarts costume party, but the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, an event put on by Let’s Talk Science at the University of Alberta. While the whole day was spent in the spirit of
Harry Potter and all things magical, mystical, and muggle, the focus was on the science behind the magic.
Students entered the Great Hall to find a sorting hat ready to place them in one of the four houses. With that new witches and wizards (and a few warlocks) were off! Scattered through the atrium were shops from Diagon Alley. Complete with presentations and booths to showcase the diverse background science plays in our everyday lives. Fifteen different classes were offered, and students could study Herbology, Muggle Studies, Wand Making, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Charms, or Potions (explosions were included!) and everything in between! Students were also free to venture from classes to visit Hogsmeade, play Quidditch, and take a photo as an escapee from Azkaban!
My personal highlight from the day was the Transfiguration room where I got to see a dragon’s egg…well, not an actual dragon’s egg, but a very cool demonstration creating the illusion of one. Surprisingly this egg was fairly squishy, and even a little bouncy! The only secrets I can reveal for this little trick are that you need an egg, some acetic acid, and a little bit of patience.
The day was a huge success drawing almost 800 participants from all over Edmonton. A big thanks to all our volunteers and to the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry for making it such a grand day and a lot of fun to be a part of. Let’s Talk Science will be holding this event next year so be sure to check their website for more information: http://www.letstalkscience.ca/ualberta/what-we-do/school-of-witchcraft-and-wizardry.html
Photos courtesy of Yuyu Yao.