Geraldton was fun and geeky. Here are some of the highlights:
- I was on TV! Well, I was in a 10 second shot on GWN news, and I’m sure most people were looking at the guy with the liquid nitrogen, but nonetheless I was on TV… I’ve never been on TV before.
- Liquid nitrogen! We went a bit crazy with the liquid nitrogen – on the first day we played with food dye, freezing it and then letting it melt in water and make cool patterns, and we made an icey-pole and iced coffee, and on the second day we froze an apple and a banana and then smashed them. Science is fun!
- I did chemistry – I helped with the chemistry activity, making silver mirror test tubes. I got silver nitrate on my hands…
- On thursday night we had a really nifty dinner. It was a cook-your-own thing, using a bit of volcanic rock heated up to 400 degrees. It was amusing that we’d spent all day playing with -200 degree liquid nitrogen, and then our dinner meant playing with a 400 degree rock.
- We had some very geeky fun with my Towers of Hanoi display. I usually get people to do it with four rings on the tower, but I had ten. Kat decided to do it with all of them – it took half an hour the first time. Then an argument started about the minimum number of steps, and we got out a bit of paper and started playing with maths. Adam tried to figure out an iterative equation for it, and I worked on the recursive one. Kat questioned our maths and redid the Towers, this time counting the steps. Every now and then more kids would come in, and we’d have to stop and do work, but the discussion kept going in the background. Most amusing. I ended up by explaining recursion to them, to convince them that it was ok for the equation to not work for n=1 (because recursion has to have a base case). End result: people learned stuff about computer science – mission accomplished! (Some kids learned stuff too :p)
Here’s a photo of me and Adam doing maths – Adam scribbling equations and me gesticulating while I try to explain recursion… (Credits to Kat for the photo)
Here’s a picture of me with my activities (Credits to Megan for this one)… I had other activities, which I swapped in and out – sorting and Towers of Hanoi were the favourites. I was pretty pleased with how they turned out.
So yeah, that was Geraldton…