Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cool Jobs and Hot Contest at the World Science Festival


We had a blast at the Cool Jobs/Hot Contest event at the World Science Festival. Alan Alda presented the winning entry in the Flame Challenge, which was to describe what a flame is, in a way that an 11 year old would truly understand. He came up with the concept because he asked this question of a childhood teacher and got only the brusquest of answers: "Oxidation." The winning video was funny and musical and presented a thorough explanation.


The Cool Jobs panel was wonderful. Zoologist Jarod Miller introduced the audience to some live animals, including Mikro's favorite, the Fennec Fox. Biomechanical Engineer Cynthia Bir talked about using biomechanics to design protective gear, prevent injuries and improve athletic performance, and had kids from the audience demonstrate some of the software she uses by engaging in a basketball dribbling contest. Biomechanical Engineer Adam Wilson discussed developing direct mind to computer interfaces and how they might help people with disabilities. He had kid volunteers demonstrate by using EEG caps and their brain activity to send a text message. Neuroscientist and NYU professor Wendy Suzuki brought out a real human brain and talked about what the various parts of it do, and how exercise causes the brain to grow more neurons and show more electrical activity. She then led the audience in some Intensati-- exercise moves paired with verbal affirmations-- which she has observed yields improved memory and concentration.



Here's the video of this event:

Video streaming by Ustream

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