This page is to just archive and list some of the things that happened at our Escapades conference. Thanks to everyone that participated (Faculty, hosts and students alike)!
First up, we had three excellent speakers.
Mark MacLachlan‘s talk was about his lab’s work on an iridescent form of glass. The actual paper can be found here (although it’s behind a paywall – if you’re really interested, I can see if I can get you a copy, although you’ll have to talk to Mark himself about the technical aspects of the research). Some of his videos are also available here.
Shernaz Bamji‘s talk was about her lab’s work on adhesion molecules (sticky molecules) found in synapse structures, and specifically how they can result in effects that alter memory retention. The actual paper that most of the talk was about can be found here (this one is open access). A video of the mouse swimming under “sticky” versus “non sticky” (aka cadherin enhanced or not) can be found here.
And, the ever entertaining Jaymie Matthews gave us a talk about the use of science to validate (or invalidate) a number of queries around the existence and activities of Godzilla. There is, of course, no paper to link to, but if you google “Godzilla” and “Science,” one of more thorough links talking about this can be found here.
Then, it was on to the activities:
The SEVEN DIGIT DISPLAY activity (developed by UBC Physics and Astronomy): Lots of fun had by all. I was around when the challenge was a 4 letter word, and I believe the top score went to the team that spelt “BUZZ.” Anyway, hopefully you saw that with a battery, a bread board, and some components, you can do some pretty interesting things. Best of all, this stuff is not that expensive. If any of you caught the DIY bug, you should check out www.adafruit.com and SparkFun, which are great places to start looking around for components.
The TERMITE GUT FLORA activity (developed by Brett Couch over at Botany): Brought to you by the key words, TERMITE and DECAPITATION. Essentially, Brett and co guided you in the fun task of removing a termite gut, so as to look at all of the wiggly microbes trying their hardest to digest wood (cellulose).
Brett has passed along a few videos (look at the waves of flagella activity for the Trichonympha):
And here are some from you (best not to watch this before lunch)!
The WOMEN IN SCIENCE CARD GAME activity (hosted by Maemi, Kashifa, and Lisa). Thanks so much for having a try at this. In any game development set-up, one of the most important processes is the act of playtesting to see where things need work, and where things seem to be pretty good. General consensus was that (1) the game was pretty fun, once you got the hang of it; (2) it took a while to get a hang of it, mainly because the rules could be better presented; and (3) feedback was diverse on its utility in a classroom, although ironically this seem to roughly correlate with prior knowledge on the issue of gender challenges in the workspace. In other words, folks who identified themselves as knowing a lot about these topics (and on occasion left commentary suggesting being quite passionate about this topic) were more likely to find the cards to be a useful tool in the classroom.
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Anyway, hopefully everybody enjoyed themselves. If you like to stay in the loop with the lab’s activities, do make sure you check our website periodically, or you can also follow Dave on twitter at @ng_dave. Until next year!