October’13 Meeting Minutes

All:

We had a great meeting last week, with eight members attending. As a switch up, we met at Outback instead of Spaghetti warehouse. And in a HUGE surprise, Greg dropped by! Greg is one of the founding members of our local chapter, back in the day, along with myself, Roger Carr, and April and Derek. That was a lot of spaghetti Sundays ago, but Greg continues to be an active member of our chapter all the way from Tokyo, Japan, where he lives and works: Greg is our webmaster and keeps our website up to date. He was in town for a trip and swung by. Good seeing you Greg!!

We went over the national effects of the shutdown, especially on Maven (set for launch tomorrow!!), next year’s URC, and upcoming local events.

Tom mentioned that it is time to register as guest judges for next year’s Dallas County High School Science Fair. We did that last year, and it was a great opportunity, a wonderful eye opening experience, and a lot of fun. It was amazing (and heartening!) to see literally thousands of incredibly bright, motivated young students displaying the results of their hard work. There were nearly a thousand teams in just the high school division for us to judge, so we could use extra hands next year! The idea is that guest organizations, like the Mars Society, as well as a host of other organizations, can walk among the displays and speak with the students and award our own prizes alongside the main event judges, who hand out the official prizes of the contest. in an era where so many of us hear so many discouraging things about the state of education and the motivation of young people, it was heartening to see so many that demonstrated that science and the passion for learning is alive and well.

The URC is ‘heating up’, with a lot of teams champing at the bit to register. We are expecting a potential step function in the number of teams this year!

I talked about my upcoming talk at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science – it went of without a hitch on November 5 – details at our next meeting!

Mark talked about his latest tweetups regarding Maven, and we talked about the latest (alas still slow) progress on the papers.

All in all, a full night!

Kurt