President’s Message – Summer 2018

As we begin another year, Tallahassee Scientific Society has much to feel good about looking back on 2017-2018. Visit the TSS website and Facebook Page to stay current with all our activities.  Below are some highlights:

  • We had an outstanding line-up of speakers for the 2018 Horizon Series, starting with famed dinosaur paleo-biologist Greg Erickson, continuing with dog geneticist Dr. Elaine Ostrander from NIH, and marine biologist John Hunt about the fisheries of the Florida Keys, and ending with Gulf Coast, and Pulitzer Prize winning, author Jack Davis. I hope you were able to see a few of those!
  • I also hope you were able to participate in at least one of those terrific field trips this past year whether it was hunting for fossils with Harley Means or touring the paleobiology lab of Greg Erickson. Check out the pictures on our Facebook Page. And look for more of these experiential opportunities with TSS.

There have been some behind-the-scenes efforts that I want to share with our membership.

  • Did you know that we make donations to the Regional Science Fair that helps students travel to and compete at the state Science Fair?
  • Did you know that we award a student that presents the best poster in the History of Science category at the Regional Science Fair?
  • But the big news for this year is that we contributed $500 to ReThink Energy Florida for a camp they offered to Tallahassee Housing Authority middle school students. These are underserved students that would otherwise not be able to benefit from an enriching STEM camp. We are putting OUR money where our mouth is!

The TSS Board is putting together plans for another great year of events and activities. Look for TSS news about two upcoming fall events:

  • The Gold Medal Award bestowed annually by the Society on a scientist or scholar selected from the Tallahassee community whose career achievements in science or science education and outreach are deemed exemplary.
  • The Annual Lannutti Lecture, which is scheduled with the FSU Physics Department as a part of their Colloquia. Both dates and locations will be announced when available. You will want to put both of these events on your calendar.

As you know, our mission is to promote science in our community through these activities and other outreach efforts. But to accomplish this, we need your help to reach a broader audience. We are asking you to reach out to friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers – especially those individuals not familiar with TSS – and encourage them to join TSS. Your Board is committed to building a sustainable membership.

Best regards,

Kerry Maddox
President, TSS

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 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

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 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 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; 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

Bob Henderson
TSS President