Truly Amazing People


Helping a year 8 student test the magnetic properties of Terbium when cooled to -196 degrees Celsius.

I have just spent 4 days talking to children in two of our great local secondary schools: Waldegrave School and Hampton Academy. Over four days I have spoken to nearly 500 children in small groups varying in size from 10 to 30 students.

I think – I hope – that my talks make a small positive difference to most of the students. And I suspect that for one or two students each year, my visit makes a big difference. But it is impossible to tell. However during my visit, one of the teachers overheard a comment from one of the girls to whom I had spoken that morning. She said,

“That man is amazing!”

And their science teacher was kind enough to write it on a card for me. It made me smile: the only feedback I believe is that which arrives randomly and anonymously.  And it is nice to be appreciated. But actually I should have given similar cards to the teachers I met. Being a teacher for a day with boxes of solid carbon dioxide and liquid nitrogen is really quite easy. Being a teacher day after day after day without cryogenic aids is not so easy – and the teachers at these schools were truly amazing, but IMHO, rather under-appreciated.

A Badge made for me by a teacher at Waldegrave School

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2 Responses to “Truly Amazing People”

  1. teddnet Says:

    You truly are amazing. But don’t worry about us- we just choose some non-cryo temperature ranges and look at that. Just in the last 24hrs we’ve been observing some amazing natural phenomena- behaviour of dihyrogen monoxide at around 273K. You wouldn’t believe what happens- the stuff actually expands when you cool it.

  2. teddnet Says:

    PS from your photo your mass v time graph appears to continue on its downwards trajectory. Congratulations.

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