National Science Week 2012 Opening Ceremony

Finally, 4 months after the fact, I have something to say about National Science Week.

National Science Week is an annual event sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology to raise awareness of science awesomeness and promote careers in science to learners. The Educational Development Center I work at always sponsors a bunch of events for National Science Week. This year, on account of my presence (free labor!), we did even more than usual. It was a fun, but stressful week. But rather than give it all away now, lets start with Monday.

The first event of the week was an opening ceremony. South Africans are very big on ceremonies, speeches, commemorations, and all the pomp that goes along. National Science Week is no exception to this, so we had to kick things off with some sort of event. Students and teachers from the area were invited to see a handful of speakers and soak up science.

I was asked to speak at the ceremony. Since I don’t 50% anything, “speak” turned into “science lesson using Powerpoint”. Despite some last minute problems getting a projector and screen together (the day was saved by a janitor who improvised a 20 foot hook-like contraption), I was able to give a totally intense presentation:

I talked about cornmeal:

And about communicating with aliens.

Bonus points for anyone who knows what this is. A bunch of South African High School students do now:

The other speakers included a career counselor, various government officials, and a doctor who gave one of the best sex-ed speeches I’ve ever seen. We were able to feed everyone, and the event went well despite some issues starting on time. It was a good start to the week. A few learners even stayed late to help me and my colleagues rehearse our material for the rest of the week. What material? Stay tuned…

5 Comments

Robert says:

Mike, I got the image after thinking for a bit – Should I say it here this early. Of course a nerd like me knows.

22 Dec 11 @ 1pm

michaelwsherman says:

Go for it.

22 Dec 11 @ 1pm

Linda Tammen says:

Robert is here it Thawville. He says it’s the Voyager Plaque.

24 Dec 11 @ 3pm

michaelwsherman says:

He’s correct. But does he know specifically what this section of the drawing is describing?

24 Dec 11 @ 8pm

Robert says:

If I recall, hydrogen 1s orbitals spin up spin down and the wavelength and energy associated with them.

28 Dec 11 @ 5pm