Thursday, January 10, 2013

Faraday Event Review

On December 27, 2012 we held our 4th Annual Faraday's Holiday Event. The following Sunday, we had an article in the Herald Journal. Today, I received an e-mail from a principal who saw the article & wants us to come to her school for their Science Night. We just barely broke even. And we want to thank Macey's grocery store for donating the hot chocolate, apple cider, cookies, and donuts. The donuts were a big hit. Some USU students from the College of Business are looking for a non-profit they can do a fundraiser for, so we will probably be working with them for Yuri's Night. We need ideas for a location for a Star Party around the Perseids in August, & to decide on a date for this year's Faraday Event. On another note, I will be coordinating the Children's Ren Fair in March. One of the kids in the history club wants a wizard there, so I'm thinking have an Alchemist - sort of wizardly, but historically accurate, have someone dressed in scholarly robes do a snazzy chemistry demonstration. Upcoming Events: Wilson Elementary School Science Night February 12, 2013 Children's Renaissance Faire March 16, 2013 Yuri's Night April 12, 2013

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thank You Note

I received a thank you note today from an After-school teacher. She's been using our links page to teach her students basic physics. Withe her students, she found a page about simple machines in cars, & asked me to add it to our Links page. So I did.

Thanks, Kristen McNally. You made my day.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Keynote Speaker

We have a keynote speaker for this year's Faraday Event: Amber Stokes. She is a Graduate Student in the Utah State University Biology Department in Dr. Brodie's lab.

She says:

    Our lab researches Tetrodotoxin, which is a neurotoxin found in newts (type of salamander) and most famously in puffer fish. Garter snakes in certain locations have evolved resistance to this toxin and there is a predator-prey arms race between the two species. I could present this research (which goes back 20 years). I work on novel predation on newts as well as a species of flatworm that produces this toxin as well. With novel predation, we observed otters eating newts, which ended up having really low levels of the toxin.

    I feel that the research done in our lab is really ecologically relevant, and easy to condense for an 8-12 year old. I would love to get some audience participation throughout the presentation to really get the kids involved and thinking. Also, I would be able/willing to bring some animals for them to see/hold. I would likely be able to bring garter snakes, newts, and possibly other amphibians/snakes if you thought that would be appropriate.

For more information about the Faraday Event, go to

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cache Valley Non-Profits Conference

This morning I went to a conference put on by the Cache Interagency Council, a networking group for all the non-profit organizations in the valley. There was breakfast & snacks & lunch & plenty of opportunities for networking in between the three presentations. Here are my notes:

Doug Stephenson introduced the speakers

Social Media


    Fact, Fair, Full, Faith

Get SHDC Youtube channel. Talk to Chrysostoms about filming. Google+, Pintrest

Keep a Twitter tab open. FB group, too. set events up in group

find out about putting lessons on Kahn

blog post every week (I really need to work on this, but here's a start)

Social Media Club of Cache Valley 2nd Tues 6:30 pm. For November it's at the Bear River Health Department

Write a social media policy. Mining for Gold: Grant Basics
United Way of Northern Utah in Ogden - Nikki Lovel 2955 Harrison Blvd Zeda Haws Community Center 801-399-5584

Follow THEIR process

Finding a Grant
-Foundation Center for federal funding

build a relationship w/ corporations
report back, pictures, et.

Boiler Plate Resources -Local & state demographics & date (Census) point-in-time data
-Risk & Protective Factor information, usually collected at the state level by Mental Health or Substance Abuse
-Kids Count (Voices of UT)
- Education informatin: reading, math, science scores, drop out rates, free & reduced lunch, school violence data, students/adults needing HS completion, etc.
-can get data off of Uited Way

-Needs to be developed to present to collaborators prior to writing the grant
-Needs to describe the program/project in a compelling way
-Briefley describes the need & what will be done to address that need
-1 page: need, solution, outcomes

- only ask a portion of total funding needs from each, list all collaborators & exactly what you're getting from each.

Advisory Board for continuous improvement (BoD can serve that function)

How was the need identified?
Where were statistics optained?

-learn to write by reading

    find out how to sign up to read & score grants
    go to dept website - look for "Reviewers Needed"

-Every rejection is an opportunity - always ask for feedback

Program Design
-tie need to activity. tie the activity to measuring the difference made to the need.
-Enhance or Expand - do not ask for funds for positions that already exist
-Get Spelling & Grammer right!

Have someone else proofread!

Research the funder as well as the need, write to audience

Emotional Engagement
Smart leaders know things - Brilliant leaders question what they know
Break the status quo
Engage in a worthy project
Ask "How good could this be" not just "best practices"

Embrace new challenges
create an experience like no other
do what other organizations don't


emotional engagement fr employees & clients is most critical for success

    30% emotionally engaged
    54% not engaged
    16% Actively disengaged

Versatility = Change

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Public Stellarium Presentation

Today @5pm, in the Logan Library Bonneville Room

Hope to see you there! Check the calendar regularly for more Public Stellarium Presentations over the next few months. If you don't live in Logan, & would like one in your town, e-mail me. Or if you think another day and/or time than Tuesdays at 5pm would work best, also e-mail me.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

3rd Annual Faraday's Holiday Event

We are once again preparing for the annual Faraday's Holiday Event. We're still at the Whittier Center, 290 N 400 E, Logan, UT 84321. Suggested donations are still $2 adults, $1 teens, & $0.50 kids, although we do welcome any additional donation you wish to make. The Keynote Speaker this year will be Jens Trauntvein from ATK. New this year will be Stellarium presentations in the Pink Room (or Commons Room, since it got painted over the summer & is no longer pink) at 6:30 & 8:00. Mr Trauntvein's presentation will be at about 7:15, with Neil Dabb's traditional home science demonstration immediately after, followed by snacks, a craft, and visiting the booths of the various participating companies and organizations.
One thing we do need is a projector, so if you know of where we can borrow one for the night, please e-mail me

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weaving & Math

Did you know that weaving uses math?

Not many people even know how to weave anymore (at least in industrialized countries). We go to the store & buy ready-made clothes. Or, if we're ambitious, or just can't find clothes that fit, or want a special costume for something like Halloween or a Science Fiction convention, we might buy fabric.

Well, this month, I learned tablet weaving. Tablet weaving was used all over the world for thousands of years to make trim, belts, straps, ties, etc. You use some little cards with holes in them, usually 4 holes per card. One piece of thread goes through each hole, so if you have 4 holes, you have 4 piece of thread per card. Then you add cards until it's as wide as you want it. The piece I made used 7 cards and is about 3/8 inch wide. The math comes in how you thread different colors of thread through the holes, and how you turn the cards to make the pattern.

I just learned this, so I just copied the pattern given in the class handout, & don't really know how to explain how to use math to make other patterns, but I know it can be done. A Google image search for "tablet weaving" produces all sorts of fancy patterns.

Some good links to check out:

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Yesterday I met with Chris Schultz out at the American West Heritage Center in preparation for the Giant Star Party on 12 August 2011. I will once again be giving Stellarium Presentations about the Perseid meteor shower in the Livery Stable at 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, & 10:30 pm. The event goes from 7 pm to 11 pm, and there will be pony rides, wagon rides, storytellers, Dr Quakenbush (sorry Dr Q if I spelled that wrong), a glow-in-the-dark carnival, and a gunfight! Anyone who brings a telescope gets in free, otherwise it's $6.

Meanwhile, on the Artemisian Costumers Challenge I haven't made much progress. Moving will do that to you. Oh, btw, my hubby & I bought a house! I did, however, find some linen curtains at a yard sale for 50¢.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Medieval Arts & Sciences

Last week I was at Uprising War, an event of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) held in Firth, Idaho. On Wednesday evening, I taught a class on Norse Astronomy. It was a short class. For one thing, it was cloudy, so no stars were visible. For another, while the Vikings knew & had names for a number of stars, we can only identify a few of them. See Digitalis: Norse Constellations and Viking Answer Lady: Viking Age Star and Constellation Names for more information.

While at Uprising, a challenge was issued to create a complete outfit from any period or culture covered by the SCA. Basically, this means anything pre-1600. I will be creating a Viking apron-dress. My sister-in-law gifted me with 5 yards of hand-woven wool that's about 23 inches wide - a common width for period fabrics. She wanted to give me brooches for Christmas, but the mold didn't work, & I want to try to make some myself (with her teaching me, naturally). I also want to make a linen chemise, but I need to figure out how I'm going to get that linen as there is a $100 limit. And I will be making a coat, probably out of flannel that I already have. All of these are projects I have been planning for this summer, but now with the challenge I need to take pictures & finish them by New Year's Day. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


This weekend is CONduit Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention in Salt Lake City, UT. I will be assisting with an electricity demo & another demo for kids, running the Star Party Friday evening (weather permitting), and will be on panels about space travel, costuming, and the interaction of fannish activities with professional life. Dan will be on a plant panel, environment panel, chainmail workshop, & one of the costuming panels. Oh, we also get to be judges for the Hall Costume Contest. If you can make it to CONduit, look us up, especially if you're wearing a costume!