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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Oh, just me and some kids who are SUPER EXCITED ABOUT SPACE [20151008|20:19]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |pleased]

[Admin note: Entry text has been lifted and modified from an earlier locked entry because PHOTOS! Please let me know if Google Photos is still being crap and I'll put them on Flickr. I hesitated to do so because I didn't take these pictures.]

Last week, I gave my first outreach lecture in just over a year. I'm not doing much outreach any more as my schedule is pretty full, but I made an exception for this Year 4 teacher. I've known her for a few years now, from when she worked at a charity called IntoUniversity that runs courses for children whose parents haven't been to university. She was always fantastic at laying the groundwork for an outreach event, arranging for a big audience and ensuring that the children understood that what was happening was quite special. This is a totally underrated skill in outreach and in general, I think. I knew that the students would be studying space and the solar system in their curriculum, that they would know of my visit in advance and thus that they would be able to extract the most from it.

Anyway, this time I unintentionally pushed this poor lass to her limits. I turned up a week before I was scheduled to do so. It was entirely my fault as I'd put the correct time but the wrong date into my Outlook calendar.

She rallied beautifully. It helped that, superstar teacher that she is, she had already been preparing the students and teachers for my arrival ("We're getting a NASA engineer to visit us!"). Her composure outwardly unrattled, she managed to get all the Year 4 and Year 5 teachers to rearrange their lessons, and bring their children down for the lecture. I'll never forgot those 180 excited faces staring up at me from where they were squooshed together on her classroom floor. They hung on my every word and pelted me with questions for 15 minutes at the end. Then they applauded me. Some of them stood up. Some of them were cheering and whooping. This went on for almost two minutes. I have never felt so embarrassed and so pleased in my life. As they were leaving they came up to me individually - one girl just so she could hug my leg.

"Doctor Nanila," said one smiling eight-year-old boy, "How do I become an engineer?"
"Doctor Nanila," asked a serious-faced child, "If you could go into space and live on your dream world, what would it look like?"
"Doctor Nanila," said a brown-haired girl, "I saw the blood moon through my binoculars! Do you know, it was the closest the moon has been to the Earth this year?"

I have permission to post the photos the teacher took from the event. Without further ado, me and her Year 4s doing the Vulcan hand salute. Please note that I'm wearing an ESA Rosetta t-shirt. Sadly the design is on the back.

Live long and prosper! Peace! Five! Uh...fingers!

Look at their li'l rapt faces. B'AWWW.

Put your hands up!

This is Mr 8, who knows he's going to be an engineer.

They've sent a bunch of handmade thank-you cards to my work, which I'll pick up next week. They're going to make me cry at my desk. <333333

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/991607.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.

[User Picture]From: susandennis
2015-10-08 19:47 (UTC)
VERY cool and your photos came through with no problem.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-10-08 19:58 (UTC)
Brilliant, thank you!

I love doing this stuff - wish I could do it more often, but with the commute and child care and generally trying to stay sane at work, it's not possible right now.
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[User Picture]From: againstathorn
2015-10-09 03:22 (UTC)
Awesome! All these young minds discovering and loving science. Just think of what they'll achieve in the years to come! :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-10-09 09:05 (UTC)
Yes! I certainly hope they stick with their ambitions. :)
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[User Picture]From: mysterysquid
2015-10-09 09:18 (UTC)
Aw! :D
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-10-09 09:21 (UTC)
They're sooo cute. All the variations on the Vulcan salute slay me.
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[User Picture]From: jixel
2015-10-15 14:25 (UTC)
Sooo... when CAN we move to the moon LOL
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-10-15 14:45 (UTC)
That depends on how many of those kids we can get to study to be engineers and scientists.
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