The luminous flame

beautiful bunsens

In January this year, I started a new job, still within eLearning, but based in science and engineering. This is pretty much a dream discipline for me, and like I knew it would, it has reignited the smouldering fire of what can only be described as nutty enthusiasm for this area.

To be clear, in an academic sense, I come from a non-science background, and for some reason I always feel I have to make this disclaimer when talking about science. I also feel nervously unintelligent around scientists and mathematicians.

Which is quite strange. Surely science isn’t just for scientists? I googled, and I’m composed of:

oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, with a lot of that in the form of water. The remaining 4 percent is a sparse sampling of the periodic table of elements. (Live Science)

There we go. I think that I’m, like all of us, fairly hooked up in this “science” thing. So, when I walk into a tutorial room and see a whiteboard filled with something like this:

 

I’m more than curious about what it means. It matters. I want to know.

At this, the start of my journey, that image is above, is a story and a game.  A game of symbols.  An important beautiful game that many people dedicate their lives and careers to. People play the game, by learning about the symbols and the rules that go with the symbols. Just because it seems impenetrable to some of us, it doesn’t mean that we can be interested in the story about this. What is it about? Why does it matter? Why does it feel remote, when it’s all about everything that is us, and is around us?

So, my interests are around communicating science to the average person, but not an as expert trying to communicate knowledge, but as a non-expert trying to learn as I go, and share that learning with my children, and learn from them too, and anyone who cares to listen.

How my interest in storytelling cross over into science is going to be intriguing to explore, but I’m also interested in exploring how science and mathematics enhance our relationship with nature.  Being able to wrap this science learning around two curious young children, and in my day job, is honestly, a pretty lovely start to the journey.

One of my big questions is, as a parent, who needs to reconnect with science and maths fundamentals, is, whether there are there resources around that can help you quickly refresh physics and chemistry concepts, while you do fun experiments? And that’s just the start…

 

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