President’s Newsletter – January 2017

Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Please consider serving as a judge for the annual Capital Regional Science and Engineering Fair on Friday, February 3, 2017.  Winners of high school or middle school science fairs in Jefferson, Leon or Wakulla counties will compete at the Capital Regional Science and Engineering Fair at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center located at 505 W. Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, Florida. We need more than 200 judges to evaluate student projects, so your help is very important for a successful fair.  Regular Judging will take place from 8:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. on Friday, February 3, 2017 followed by Overall Judging from 12:00 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. Students who win the Capital Regional Science and Engineering Fair can proceed to state competition. Some students may even continue further to international competitions.

If you are interested in judging, please complete the online judge registration form here (http://www.crsef.org/judge_registration_form.php) by Friday, January 20, 2017.  Each project will compete in a specific category so we need you to select all categories you are qualified to judge on the registration form. The categories and their descriptions can be found on the judge registration web site above. Also, indicate whether you intend to stay for the free lunch sponsored by local middle and high schools.  Once you have successfully submitted your online form, you will receive a copy via email.  If you have any problems, please contact Bill Turner at (850) 644-9828 or email him at bturner@bio.fsu.edu.

Bill can also use some help with clerical and custodial effort for the Fair on Thursday and Friday, so if you want to support the Fair, but are not interested in judging, you can still be of great benefit by volunteering to help in other ways.

Horizons 2017

The Horizons 2017 series is coming together nicely and it will be a very educational and entertaining schedule.  Go to the Society’s web site www.tallysci.org to order tickets. 

A change we have made in ticket sales this year is to offer family members 18 years of age and younger free admission when accompanied by adult admission tickets.  Your board is attempting to present offerings that will appeal to young people in the hope that they will embrace science as they choose their educational options and careers.
 
The line-up of presenters for the Horizons 2017 series is presented at the end of this newsletter.

Mag Lab Open House

The annual open house at the FSU Mag Lab will be held February 25th, from 10 am to 3 pm.  This is a fun event for approximately 8,000 visitors.  The theme this year is “film” and the Lab staff have many interesting demonstrations associated with the theme and their work at the lab.
 
This year other venues at Innovation Park are participating in the open house.  This will add to the festive nature and expanded experience to be enjoyed by the visitors.
 
Your Society has participated in tabling at this event.  We have one or more interesting experiments on display at our table and usually get a large draw of visitors.  If you would like to help with this event, contact Dr. Claudius Mundoma cmundoma@fsu.edu 644-5147(w); 980-6666 (c).  He can use your help for any length of time.  You do not need to commit to the hours of the open house.

Tallahassee Science Festival

Plans are under way to host the STEM Science Festival in the fall of 2017.  The Tallahassee Scientific Society will play a major role in the event along with several community partners.  Your Society’s primary responsibility will be managing all requirements pertaining to participants at the festival.  Participants are those displaying and tabling at the event.  We are early in the planning stage so details on the event are limited.  If you would like to help with this event, contact Shelly Hatton shellyhatton@gmail.com; 850-661-3803.

2nd Saturday Science Lab

Your Society is continuing with the Science Lab outreach program in conjunction with the Leon County Public Library.  Presenters are asked to provide a lecture and hands-on lab for teens at 2:00 pm each second Saturday of the month.  We have had a variety of subjects presented from Robotics to the effect of river discharge on ocean currents.  If you can make a presentation or know of someone who can, please get in contact with the coordinator of this project.  Dr. Anthony Duben ajduben@gmail.com

Bob Henderson
TSS President

President’s Newsletter – October 2016

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Lannutti Lecture Series

The 2016 Lannutti Lecture series will be held on November 2nd and 3rd.  Mark your calendars and plan to attend one or both of the lectures.

This year’s presenter is Dr. Robert Williams, who is Astronomer Emeritus at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Williams’ research specialties are nebulae, novae, and emission–line spectroscopy and analysis.  He is a strong advocate for science education and outreach.  He has lectured around the world on recent discoveries from the Hubble Telescope and other forefront facilities on the ground and in space.

He was awarded the Beatrice Tinsley Prize of the American Astronomical Society for his leadership of the Hubble Deep Field project, which revealed information about the early universe.  For this project he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal.

His public Lecture will be November 2nd at 7:00 pm in the College of Medicine auditorium and is entitled “Hubble Space Telescope: Piecing Together the Universe”.

The Physics Department Colloquium will be November 3rd at 3:45 PM (with free refreshments starting at 3:15 PM) in the Undergraduate Physics Laboratory, room 101 and is entitled “The Hubble Deep Field and its Legacy”.  The public is invited to the Colloquium as well.

Horizons 2017

The Horizons 2017 series is coming together nicely and it will be a very educational and entertaining schedule.  Tickets will be available by the end of November, so those who might like to purchase tickets as gifts for the holiday season can do so.

The season will kick off February 23rd with a presentation by Bruce Means, local naturalist, who will discuss his study of rattlesnakes in our area.  His study is the most comprehensive study of any reptile species in the world.  He will have his book on the study available for sale before the presentation.

March 23rd, Dr. Gail Skofronick-Jackson, a highly accomplished and well-regarded NASA scientist, will take the stage at the IMAX theater.  Her area of expertise is measuring climatic changes from space.  She may be able to address our concerns about how global warming will impact our area.

Jeffrey Shanks, archeologist for the National Park Service, will bring us details on the newly excavated indigenous site on St Marks Wildlife Refuge, known as Byrd’s Hammock.  The site has been investigated enough to give us an understanding of the inhabitants and their way of life.  April 27th is the date for this event.

The speaker on May 17th will be Dr. Don on Chambers, Marine Scientist.  His research focuses on quantifying and understanding sea level variability, especially trying to separate natural climate variability from anthropogenic climate change.

You will receive notice when more detailed information is made available on our web page and when tickets become available.  For now, mark your calendars for the dates of the Horizons 2017 events.

STEM Science Festival

For several years, a successful STEM Science Festival has been held at Lake Ella in late summer.  The driving force behind the event was Bill Grace.  Bill has moved away but wanted to ensure that the festival continued.  The Tallahassee Science Society was approached to take a leadership position and so have several other community organizations.  Nothing definite has been decided but your Society sees the festival as fulfilling its mission and will be a part of it in the future.  We may take a leadership role, but in any case, we will be a participant in the festival as we have been the last couple of years.

Science Oriented Field Trips

Your board of directors has been planning a new initiative for the benefit of our members.  The idea has been to offer field trips that have a scientific element, be of interest to our members, and acquaint participants with projects or services in our community.  A committee has been working on ideas for field trips, looking a practical logistics, and lining up a few trips.  Our plans include trips that will be attractive to our youth as well, so these can be a family outing, with the added benefit of encouraging our young citizens to consider a career in science.

More will be reported as this endeavor kicks off.  It is the committee’s hope that you will find this project of value to you and your family.  As we go along, the project will be modified by your feedback and adjusted accordingly.

Regional Science & Engineering Fair

Every fall, schools in our area hold their annual science fairs. Many teachers participate in these fairs, helping students develop quality science projects; however, many teachers (and subsequently their students) do not participate. This is because teachers feel overwhelmed and participation in the fair becomes simply one more duty they don’t have the time to undertake.

TSS has been advised by those in the know that if teachers had some volunteers to assist them, they may be more likely to have an active science fair at their school. Primarily, they are looking for volunteers to help set up the night before and on the day of the fair (most science fairs take place in late fall). They also need judges and will train on the criteria for judging projects.

If you would like to get involved, please contact Shelly Hatton:
shellyhatton@gmail.com; 850-661-3803

Bob Henderson, President, bob@rkhenderson.com; 850-575-6610

President’s Newsletter – August 2016

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Gold Medal Ceremony and Presentation

The 2016 Gold Medal Ceremony and Presentation is scheduled for October 12th in the Planetarium of the Challenger Learning Center.

This year’s honoree is Dr. Henry Neal Williams, professor in the School of Environment at Florida A&M University. He is considered the leading authority on predatory bacteria.  Currently, he is focusing on their use as an antibiotic agent to fight human bacteria pathogens. Visit the Society’s web site to learn more about our honoree.
His presentation for the evening of the Award Ceremony is entitled “Hunting the World’s Smallest Hunters, the Bdellovibrionales: A 30-Year Odyssey.”

Members who subscribe to the Tallahassee Democrat may recall two recent articles featuring Dr. Williams and his acclaim. We are honored to bestow our Gold Medal award to him and to have him present to our membership.

A reception preceding the ceremony to honor our members is scheduled in the Challenger Learning Center classroom across the hall from the Planetarium. So we can plan food and drinks for the reception, members must make a reservation. Go to the Society’s web site and under the “News & Notes” tab make reservations to attend by clicking on the Eventbrite link.

Lannutti Lecture Series

The 2016 Lannutti Lecture series will be held on November 2nd and 3rd.  Mark your calendars and plan to attend one or both of the lectures.

This year’s presenter is Dr. Robert Williams, who is Astronomer Emeritus at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Williams’ research specialties are nebulae, novae, and emission–line spectroscopy and analysis.  He is a strong advocate for science education and outreach.  He has lectured around the world on recent discoveries from the Hubble Telescope and other forefront facilities on the ground and in space.

He was awarded the Beatrice Tinsley Prize of the American Astronomical Society for his leadership of the Hubble Deep Field project, which revealed information about the early universe.  For this project he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal.

His public Lecture will be November 2nd at 7:00 pm in the College of Medicine auditorium and is entitled “Hubble Space Telescope: Piecing Together the Universe”.

The Physics Department Colloquium will be November 3rd at 3:45 PM (with free refreshments starting at 3:15 PM) in the Undergraduate Physics Laboratory, room 101 and is entitled “The Hubble Deep Field and its Legacy”.  The public is invited to the Colloquium as well.

Horizons 2017

The Horizons 2017 series is being developed and will be another outstanding season. We plan to have the program ready before the holiday season and encourage members to consider purchasing season tickets as gifts.

Volunteers

Volunteers Needed to Help with School Science Fairs

Every fall, schools in our area hold their annual science fairs. Many teachers participate in these fairs, helping students develop quality science projects; however, many teachers (and subsequently their students) do not participate. This is because teachers feel overwhelmed and participation in the fair becomes simply one more duty they don’t have the time to undertake.

TSS has been advised by those in the know that if teachers had some volunteers to assist them, they may be more likely to have an active science fair at their school. Primarily, they are looking for volunteers to help set up the night before and on the day of the fair (most science fairs take place in late fall). They also need judges and will train on the criteria for judging projects.

If you would like to get involved, please contact Shelly Hatton:
shellyhatton@gmail.com; 850-661-3803

This year’s 2nd Saturday Science Lab is being kicked off on October 8th.  Tony Dubin, a recently appointed board member, has agreed to chair the Science Lab committee and is also going to present at the October event.  His topic is “Gas Sylvestre:  Introducing CO2”. If you know of a youth who is even vaguely interested in science, encourage them to attend this and future labs. These are hands-on labs and are designed to raise teen attendees’ interest in science.

Also, if you, or someone you know, would be available to make a presentation, get in touch with Tony. He is looking for presenters who are interested in our outreach to young people. Anthony Duben ajduben@gmail.com.

Bob Henderson, President, bob@rkhenderson.com 850-575-6610