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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Panic Mode: Engaged! [20081128|15:16]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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I received the schedule for my first Researcher in Residence (RinR) day at Teddington School today.

The RinR programme is a chance for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers to go to schools and spend time "teaching" classes. You're supposed to spend a minimum of 14 hours in contact with students, although the organisers encourage 24 hours per placement. What you do is almost entirely up to you.

When I met with the teachers I'm supposed to work with during the placement, we discussed some options for the first day. I left the meeting with the impression that I'd be able to recycle an outreach talk about the potential for Enceladus to support life, bring in my Ph.D and pass it around, and run a short question and answer session. But then I received this.

Wednesday 3rd December:
  • Lesson 1 (9-9.50am): Year 10 Triple Science 1: Introduction on your work and research with Miss O.
  • Lesson 2 (10-10.50am): Year 10 Triple Science 2: Introduction on your work and research with Mr B.
  • Lunchtime: 12.40 - 1.30
  • Lesson 5: (1.40 - 2.20): Year 111X (top set A*/A group): Introduction and why choose Science as a career / research work with Miss R.
  • Lesson 6: (2.20 - 3.10): Year 111Y (top set A/A* group): Introduction and why choose Science as a career/ research work with Mr C.
  • 3.20 onwards: Working with technician Chris Hardie with our lower school Science club.

We can also discuss what the plans are for the following week ie, can life be supported on Saturn's moons.

...and I went, WHAT.

I have to invent these talks in the next four days. And they can't just be talks, either, because no 15 year old is going to sit there and let me witter on at them about magnetic fields for 50 minutes without falling asleep.

I'm seriously tempted to bring in a magnetometer, wave it at them, and say "See this? I helped make this work. This has been in SPACE, muthafuckas," and walk out again.

From: (Anonymous)
2008-11-28 18:12 (UTC)
The slightest utterance of the word "muthafuckas" and I am certain that you will have their full and undivided attention....Heeheeeee...
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[User Picture]From: comfortslut
2008-11-28 18:13 (UTC)


Tat was me ^...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-12-02 23:21 (UTC)
I'll try to work it in at some point. When the teacher isn't listening.
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2008-11-28 20:05 (UTC)
You have a Magneto-meter? Sweeeeet. You should intersperse your talk with X-Men quotes; I know *I'd* pay attention. ;)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-12-02 23:22 (UTC)
I do! I've got a functioning single-axis magneto-meter to show them. (Of course, what I really want is a Nightcrawler-o-meter. Mmm.)
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-12-02 23:23 (UTC)
Aw. Thank you. We'll see if my naive American overt nerdiness appeals to these cynical British teenagers...
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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2008-11-29 04:09 (UTC)
I think that would get their attention.

Or you could give them your synopsis of the history of research on the magnetosphere, that's pretty entertaining.

So, basically for each class you need to talk for about 20 minutes and then answer some questions?

I would spend 5 minutes talking about science as a career, 5 minutes summarizing your PhD topic and the research you needed to do for it, and then 5-10 minutes recycling your outreach talk, and fill up an extra time talking about space and rockets and other fun stuffs.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-12-02 23:29 (UTC)
Ahaha, I'd forgotten about the synopsis. I think I'll save it for the next visit, to remind them of the motivation.

Oddly, I've ended up following your suggestion. I've got two talks, one that's pretty short and is just a brief history of me (and includes me passing around a copy of my thesis). The second is about 20 minutes long and is almost completely new. Is about measuring magnetic fields in space, and has cool movies of the sun going boom and creating aurorae, etc. I will be pausing to ask them questions as well so I think it should fill the whole 50 mins.
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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2008-12-02 23:31 (UTC)
Cool. I hope it goes well.
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