‰ÛÏEdutainment‰Û�: Nerd Nite combines education and fun for 2016

Ever feel the need to nerd out about something or learn interesting new facts in case you ever end up on an episode of <em>Jeopardy</em>? Look no further than Nerd Nite KW, which settled into 2016 with their first event of the year Jan. 27 at Apollo Cinema.

Nerd Nite originated in Boston 13 years ago and today there are over 95 Nerd Nites taking place all over the world, including Kitchener-Waterloo. Nerd Nite KW was established four years ago and just completed their 36th episode this January with plans for expansion and more nerdy fun in the new year.

Charlotte Armstrong, the founder and co-ordinator of Nerd Nite KW, likes to call Nerd Nite &ldquo;edutainment,&rdquo; both entertainment and education in one night. She continued describing Nerd Nite KW as &ldquo;a unique event that increases the knowledge economy of the region and celebrates nerd culture while building a sense of community.&rdquo;&nbsp;

The shows typically consist of two 20-minute presentations by local nerds, hosted by Ryan Consell, followed by a round of trivia hosted by Eric Moon, the trivia overlord.&nbsp;

One of the night&rsquo;s speakers, Sylvie Spraakman, was a new member to the Nerd Nite team and an environmental nerd. Spraakman spoke about storm water management in the Grand River watershed. Her presentation detailed how storm water management came to be, and how the citizens of the Waterloo region can help support this water management system. The second speaker, Barry Carter, did a stand-up routine about comic book heroes and villains. Carter is a favourite at Nerd Nite KW, with the first show of 2016 being his third time presenting.&nbsp;

With the 2016 shows now in motion, Armstrong looks forward to making Nerd Nite more mobile in 2016. She hopes to have &ldquo;more field trips&rdquo; with their first trip being Feb. 24 to the Huron Natural Area. During this trip there will be an opportunity to hear from a local owl expert and take part in a hike to see owls in the wild.&nbsp;

Other than Nerd Nite KW&rsquo;s 10 formal shows a year, they also have an annual event celebrating the anniversary of Nerd Nite KW called Nerd Fest. This year Nerd Fest will be Mar. 28 at the Pavilion in Victoria Park, Kitchener, and will showcase the best speakers as well as local artists.&nbsp;

With loads of events lined up for 2016, new out-of-town field trips, and Nerd Fest on the horizon, Armstong concluded that Nerd Nite is &ldquo;the perfect event for people that have fun learning, love trivia, and are looking for a safe, welcoming environment where you can let your nerd flag fly!&rdquo;


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