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 Jefferson High 1999

Dan's Speaks Physics at Jefferson High

I make it priority to take time off work and speak to local schools about robot building and in general the need to study math, chemistry and physics. So on January 14th I packed up my robot, a bunch of raw parts from the shop and drove up to Daly City, just south of San Francisco. I had an appointment to speak to Harold Lawrence's physics class about being an engineer and building stuff.

I hold the study of science through rational thought in high regard along with those who pursue it. So I talk about the wonders of science to students whenever possible.When people have a goal combined with the hope of reaching it, they are more likely to try to reach it. So think of me as a goad.

What started as an opportunity to speak to Mr. Lawrence's physics class became a small assembly in the theatre. About one half of the students were taking hard science classes and a third expected to attend college when they graduated. The longer I spoke about setting goals and then working toward them, the more I could sense the huge potential in this group of students.
After I had finished giving my talk about how cool it is to be a physicist and posess the tools with which to understand how everything works, I invited the students to come up and check out the demo table. I had all types of metals there along with motors and batteries, sprockets and chains, pulleys and belts, and even some cool bearings. In addition Christian Carlberg was kind enough to loan me one of his LEGO Mindstorm robots which we ran until the batteries gave out.
I brought the Agrippa robot to show how a number of disciplines can converge in a single project: structural mechanics, metallurgy, welding, chemistry, electronics, software and art. The students took turns driving it around and amazingly, nobody was hurt.

That covers it for this visit!

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