Thursday, October 12, 2006

New Wings

This evening, I joined other Saturday Academy supporters, including Terry Bristol, to celebrate 23 years of operations plus the launch of a new public sector craft 'n groovy crew.

SA is finally going it alone, instead of under the auspices of this or that higher education institution (incubators OGI and PSU still plan to work in tandem).

We enjoyed finger food and alcoholic beverages in PSU's new computer science and engineering building, applauding speeches and interviewing star students, veterans of SA's courses and internship programs.

One student had helped program the latest Lego robot using prosthetics you can't buy on the open market, such as magnetic field and pH sensors. Another had helped with a laboratory process that more effectively colorizes viral gene splicers. A third had spent a summer diving into the nanotubes literature and eventually working on their synthesis. All of these kids were still high school aged.

You'll find more on Saturday Academy elsewhere in this blog. I've been an instructor at both the OGI and PSU sites, teaching Pythonic Mathematics, a way of learning mathematical concepts while developing fluency with a state of the art object oriented computer language.

I spent some of the evening chatting with a man with a son named Kirben -- such an unusual name. The dad is one of four random CalTech students on former defense secretary Harold Brown's Xmas card for the year 1970.