Posts Tagged ‘education’

Schmahl Science Workshops Fundraiser

Sat­ur­day, Novem­ber 6, 2010.  I’m per­form­ing at a fundrais­er for a very worth­while cause – Schmahl Sci­ence Work­shops offers an after-school career men­tor­ship pro­gram that enables pre-K through 12 stu­dents to par­tic­i­pate in on-going sci­ence and engi­neer­ing research pro­grams.

16th Anniver­sary Cel­e­bra­tion and Fundrais­er:  “The Sci­ence of Suc­cess”

Food, wine, live enter­tain­ment (that’s me!)

6-10pm, Sat­ur­day, Novem­ber 6, 2010
Quadrus Con­fer­ence Cen­ter
2400 Sand Hill Road
Men­lo Park, CA 94025

Tick­ets avail­able at

More info on Schmahl Sci­ence Work­shops:

The Bay Area is home to sig­nif­i­cant inno­va­tion in sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy.  How­ev­er many local school dis­tricts have elim­i­nat­ed sci­ence edu­ca­tion from their cur­ricu­lum. The key is more Sci­ence, Tech­nol­o­gy, Engi­neer­ing, and Math (STEM) edu­cat­ed grad­u­ates if we want to con­tin­ue to be lead­ers in the glob­al econ­o­my. By part­ner­ing with schools, insti­tu­tions of high­er edu­ca­tion, sci­ence based insti­tu­tions, muse­ums, local gov­ern­ments, and the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty our non-profit, Schmahl Sci­ence Work­shops (SSW) devel­ops young sci­en­tists to par­tic­i­pate in the next wave of sci­en­tif­ic inno­va­tion. We need your help to keep Schmahl Sci­ence Work­shop strong.  We invite you to join us to cel­e­brate the accom­plish­ments of our stu­dents and to learn more about how you can inspire the next gen­er­a­tion of sci­en­tists.

Why is Science Important?

Alom Sha­ha has made a won­der­ful 28-minute film enti­tled “Why is Sci­ence Impor­tant?”

Sha­ha is a physics teacher at an inner city school in the UK, and also a TV pro­duc­er who spe­cial­izes in sci­ence pro­grams.  The film was made to be broad­cast on Teach­ers TV (a UK cable chan­nel) but it’s also avail­able online in excel­lent HD qual­i­ty – and can even be shared and embed­ded, as seen below (you can view a larg­er size if you click over to his site).

The web­site also con­tains “a col­lec­tion of thoughts from lead­ing sci­en­tists, pub­lic fig­ures …and you.”  Add your thoughts on why sci­ence is impor­tant and they’ll appear along­side the thoughts of Bad Astronomer Phil Plait, SETI’s Seth Shostak, LabLit’s Jen­nifer Rohn, and many oth­ers.

Vis­it Alom’s YouTube Chan­nel – sci­ence­films – to see more answers to the ques­tion “Why is Sci­ence Impor­tant?” as well as some of his oth­er films.

Why is Sci­ence Impor­tant?
Bad Astron­o­my blog
Seth Shostak

Unluck­i­ly, it can be a gen­uine cat­a­stro­phe for the mark you get in an exam­i­na­tion. good essay writ­ing com­pa­nies imper­son­ation of Dick­enss idiom Our edi­tors and writ­ers will pee any req­ui­site rewrite and broad­cast it to you in 3 years or less

Siftables – Cookie Scale Computing

A cou­ple weeks ago I saw this very cool short TED video about Sifta­bles, a project com­ing out of the MIT Media Lab and Taco Lab in San Fran­cis­co.  So, for my first ETech ses­sion this morn­ing, I’m check­ing out Cook­ie Scale Com­put­ing with Jee­van Kalanithi and David Mer­rill.  The brief pro­gram descrip­tion is:

Cook­ie Scale Com­put­ing: Human-Computer Inter­faces as Piles of Ges­ture Sen­si­tive Dis­plays
David Mer­rill (MIT Media Lab) et al

We’ve built a new type of inter­face that brings com­pu­ta­tion into our phys­i­cal and ges­tur­al world: a set of cookie-sized, ges­tu­ral­ly aware, neigh­bor detect­ing wire­less dis­plays that act togeth­er as one inter­face. We call them Sifta­bles. Peo­ple live in and know about the phys­i­cal world. Com­put­ers should too.

Sifta­bles are cookie-sized com­put­ers that are inter­ac­tive, show graph­ics and can be manip­u­lat­ed phys­i­cal­ly in inter­est­ing ways – they can sense their neigh­bors and com­mu­ni­cate wire­less­ly.  They work togeth­er to form a sin­gle inter­face.

They demon­strat­ed a bunch of inter­est­ing uses – check out the web­site and the TED video for exam­ples and numer­ous news sto­ries.

Link:  Sifta­bles and Taco Lab

Mike Brotherton and the Science Comedian

Mike Broth­er­ton has a real­ly nice blog post about me.  Mike is a sci­ence fic­tion writer who also hap­pens to be an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming in the depart­ment of Physics and Astron­o­my.  Quasars are his spe­cial­ty!  And there’s a lot of great con­tent in his blog.  Check it out.

I’m ecsta­t­ic that, of the two jokes he sin­gled out for men­tion, one is an anal­o­gy that rarely gets the laugh I wish for it.  It’s about the abil­i­ty of a virus to take down a human.  We must out­weigh them by a fac­tor of a bil­lion or more.  It’s the ulti­mate David and Goliath…  “It’s like Luke Sky­walk­er tak­ing out the Death Star in a lit­tle X-Wing Fight­er.”

Well, it is, isn’t it?

He also says this about the embed­ded video:

Next time I teach an intro­duc­to­ry sci­ence class, I’m going to show some of these. I might be able to deliv­er a cou­ple of the sim­pler jokes and fit them into lec­tures. I’m a good lec­tur­er, but not great, and wak­ing peo­ple up with a smart joke that has some real sci­ence in it isn’t pan­der­ing, it’s edu­cat­ing.

Too often I think thatI just get depressed about the nev­er end­ing bat­tle with igno­rance and sci­ence illit­er­a­cy, with the folks who reject our best knowl­edge because it con­tra­dicts their polit­i­cal or reli­gious beliefs.  Get­ting peo­ple to laugh and want in on the joke is prob­a­bly a bet­ter method of doing some­thing oth­er than preach­ing to the choir and bring­ing in some peo­ple who want to chuck­le, too.

Thanks, Mike!

I haven’t read his two nov­els yet – Star Drag­on and Spi­der Star – but they’ve been praised by David Brin and Paul Di Fil­ip­po.  They are hard SF and have been com­pared to the books of Lar­ry Niv­en and Robert L. For­ward.  Sounds good to me!