Show Some Love For the Science Rap Academy

I’ve posted about half of this year’s videos from the Science Rap Academy guided by rapper and educator Tom McFadden.  There are two I haven’t posted about that are worth at least as much love and sharing as the others.

Prey (Shake ’em Off) uses one of Taylor Swift’s more persistent earworms as the basis for explaining predator-prey relationships.

My personal favorite of this year’s crop is Proteins, probably because it builds off an even bigger earworm from Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj.  That the ladies in the video have pipes certainly helps (though that’s true for Prey as well).

I’m not sure when the next edition of Science Rap Academy will run, but I doubt it will be soon enough.

Attention All Makers – National Maker Faire Issues The Call

Answering one of my questions from the announcement of the National Maker Faire (June 12-13 in Washington, D.C.) was how projects would be (or were) selected.  Turns out at least some spots are still open.

Interested Makers will need to complete this form by May 8th.  It requests a great deal of information (including project description, logistics, and demographics, all of it to be expected) and includes a release.  While there will be a section focused on Makers from the Washington, D.C. area, organizers are committed to considering Makers from communities across the country.  Not all applications will be accepted, but Makers should consider other Faires taking place in other parts of the country.

If you’re aren’t going to submit a project for consideration, do think about attending the Faire next month on the campus of the University of the District of Columbia.

Get Your Tickets: World Science Festival And The Hard Problem

The World Science Festival will take place at the end of May in New York City.  Activities are scheduled for May 27-31, with the Festival ending with a large street festival on the 31st.  This year’s Festival will mark the centenary of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.  Tickets will be available next week through the Festival website.

Earlier this year the National Theatre in London premiered Tom Stoppard’s latest play, The Hard Problem.  The problem of the title refers to consciousness, and the main character is a pyschology researcher concerned with the overlap of psychology and brain scanning.  While the play is still running in London, you may be able to see it on the big screen this weekend.  As sometimes happens with National Theatre productions, a performance was recorded for broadcast in movie theatres.  It’s a limited run, so please check with National Theatre Live to see when (and where) this play will be screened near you.

Weekend Science Video Goodness: New Year For the Science Rap Academy

Tom McFadden has debuted the first video of this year’s Science Rap Academy.  Seventh and eighth grade students at the Nueva School prepare a music video based on a science concept, usually reworking a rap or hip-hop song.  The first video focuses on colony collapse disorder, and is called “Please Don’t Kill My Hive

The next video will be available on Monday.

Also coming on Monday is the premiere of the television version of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk program.  He has been making the publicity tour, appearing on The Nightly Show to talk conspiracy theories and on the latest edition of Science Goes to the Movies.  Tyson discusses how scientists are represented in some films, and the episode covers the movies Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Lazarus Effect, and Them!

One Year Out From The Next USA Science And Engineering Festival

The Fourth USA Science and Engineering Festival starts a year from today.  While booking of acts continues, ‘Science Bob’ Pflugfelder is already scheduled to appear.  If you can’t wait a full year, there are at least a couple of ways to engage with the Festival before then.

There is the Traveling Festival.  It will make its next appearance later this month at the FIRST Robotics Championships in St. Louis.  Michigan Tech’s Mind Trekkers are operating the festival, which will tour around the country leading up to next year’s Festival.

Later this month is the X-STEM Symposium.  The second annual symposium will take place April 28 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. (the same location as the Festival).  Targeted at middle school and high school students, the symposium is a combination of presentations, hands-on demonstrations and demonstrations from experts in a number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.  If you want to go and haven’t registered, April 17th is the last day.

So It’s Now A National Maker Faire

I missed the buried lede in last week’s announcement by the White House of the “Week of Making.”  I assumed there was going to be a second White House Maker Faire during that week, when it states there will be a *National* Maker Faire.  At the moment the Faire’s most active web presence is on social media.  Its website currently is just an information subscription request.

The Faire will be held at the University of the District of Columbia.  The University is partnering with the District Government, the organizers of the DC Mini Maker Faire and Maker Media to put on the event.  Several government agencies are committed to attend the Faire, which will take place June 12-13 (the beginning of the Week of Making).

More information is forthcoming.  But with the Week of Making less than 2 months away, I wish the information would come sooner.

Science Movie/Video Corner

This weekend marked the limited U.S. release of Ex Machina, one of many robotic-themed movies released this year.  The movie likely hasn’t reached your city, unless you are outside of the U.S., where the film has been more widely distributed.

The second episode of Science at the Movies is now available.  The theme is pattern recognition, and the films covered are The Imitation Game and Into the Woods.  Clearly you should not watch this program to get information on the latest releases.

In other video news, Tom McFadden may be about to open our minds with a new YouTube show.

Here you can see him take a Science Times (New York Times science section) newspaper article and rap it for you.  He’s promised to do this every week.

Are You Not Entertained?