265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 csf@cambridgesciencefestival.org

Coolest Teacher, Solar Flares, Trebuchets, Oh My

So, one incredibly cool piece of local (teacher) news to share is about Boston Latin School’s 8th grade teacher and adviser to BLS Youth CAN (Boston Latin School Youth Climate Action Network).  Not only is BLS Youth CAN participating in the Cambridge Science Festival’s Ideas Challenge, they will also be producing a mural for David Breashear‘s Rivers of Ice symposium for the Festival on Saturday, April 21.  But this isn’t about Youth CAN (in this post, anyway).  

Cate Arnold


This is about their teacher adviser, Cate Arnold, who is currently on a trip of a lifetime to Antarctica on Expedition 2041 as a “Coolest Teacher in The World”.  What a crazy experience that must be!  Check out the daily blog posts by members of the expedition from all over the world.

Moving on to some space news that makes “local” take on a new meaning.  On Tuesday, the Sun’s surface had some serious solar storms, throwing a wave of charged particles – a coronal mass ejection (CME) – just past Earth.  Quick geography lesson: the moon is about 400,000 km away from Earth.  The Apollo mission made it to the moon after 3 days in space.  The Sun is about 400 times further away from us than the moon.

Credit: NASA

So these charged particles are moving fast, far, and you have to wonder what the effects may be.  Now, it’s been a few days and the response was mostly concern for satellites and potential for some great Northern Lights.  But the Sun is settling back into a very active period of it’s 11-year-cycle, to peak in 2013.  Some exciting sights ahead for the whole Earth community!  Look out for the CSF Star Party on Saturday, April 28th to learn more about our neighborhood of the universe!

The festival won’t be taking you into a solar storm or to the last wilderness continent on Earth, but we would like to engage you in some new experiences (or classic standbys)!  And, we are now 42 days away from the 2012 CSF! And our event of the day…

Artisan’s Asylum Trebuchet Design Challenge

This is a week-long design & build challenge.  Start on Sunday, April 22 at 4pm at the Artisan’s Asylum, 10 Tyler Street, Somerville, and compete the following Sunday, the 29th at 4pm on the Cambridge Common (in Harvard Square) to see how your trebuchet design stacks up against the  other teams’!

This is a trebuchet:

It’s a weapon from the Middle Ages, a time of fortress sieges, and the like.

Each member of the winning team will get a gift certificate to Artisan’s Asylum, and their winning design will be displayed publicly in the space. No experience is necessary! They’ll teach you all you need to know for the project.

Cost: Team/individual registration at http://trebuchetcompetition.eventbrite.com/

What is Artisan’s Asylum?

Artisan’s Asylum is a community craft workshop located in Somerville, Massachusetts. Our mission is to remove the barriers between having a creative idea and successfully executing it; to that end we offer public shared access to a wide range of manufacturing and fabrication equipment, both individual and shared work and storage space, and education in the use of our equipment and many other crafts besides. Our facility offers shop space for woodworking, machining, welding, metalworking, electronics assembly, bike repair, sewing, and a computer lab, and is home to more than 150 artists, artisans, craftspeople, inventors, entrepreneurs, and enthusiastic tinkerers. We hope to see you soon!

[Edit: added link to CSF Star Party on 4/28!]

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