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One ELLA-va Journey

May 21, 2011

Rheanna Sand

 

Yes this blog is late, but I have the best excuse. I was getting Rapture Ready! Okay… you got me. I wasn't, in fact, preparing to be taken by Jesus - or more accurately, left behind by Jesus. I was actually wrapping up a fantastic three-week course taught by me and our very own Dr. Torah Kachur called "A Journey Through Science."

The Edmonton Lifelong Learners Association, or ELLA, invited us to bring their students into the world of Science in Seconds, and I'm sure they had no idea what they were in for. The origins of the universe, primordial soup, and STD plushies rounded out Week 1. In Week 2, Torah somehow made cancer, Alzheimers, and Parkinson's disease entertaining, all while educating. Week 3 was all about the future, and the breakthroughs I presented amazed me as much as my students.

There were a few videos that stood out (play them below and expand to fullscreen). The first one was from NOVA Science Now, and it shows how close we are to being able to grow human replacement organs. The visuals are eerie and terribly exciting all at once.


 

The second was about touchable holography, a technology that allows people to feel the motion and pressure of holographic images. This would change computer interfaces in a dramatic way if it were to be developed.


 

The third was a video released just last week, showing the first feathered flight of SpaceShipTwo, the craft that will bring tourists into space for the first time through Virgin Galactic. This historic flight was designed to test the feathering method of entering the atmosphere, which involves a dramatic folding of the craft in mid-air.

 

I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the organizers, assistants, and most of all, the students of ELLA who made my day every day for three weeks, and showed me how thirsty the public is for science knowledge. See you again next year!

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