Science Demonstration Reflections (Pun intended)

I see a bunch of post-demo reflections, tempting me to do one as well, so here’s mine!

I do not teach in school unlike my other classmates and so somehow had the liberty to do any concept from any discipline that I wanted to. Then again, too many choices makes us miserable. And so, I spent a weekend on YouTube (not complaining) watching Steve Spangler, Bill Nye and others trying to figure out what I wanted to do.

I had an inclination towards sound and I discovered this really awesome demonstration on how sound frequency changes caused changes in water waves. Watching the video got me all real excited until I realised that the effect cannot be viewed through a naked eye and can only be seen through a 24fps camera.

In the side bar recommendations, I saw another dope demonstration (see below) on sound/acoustic levitation and how fluids can be mixed by using energy in sound waves without the use of human hands which is immediately applicable to drug development! Again, the materials for this demonstration were something I did not have access to and was not cheap to purchase – so had to scrap that.

Finally, I made up my mind to do my demonstration on refraction, total internal reflection and their applications. My demonstration was two-part:

1. Laser Tank

2. Luminous fountain

While choosing a science demonstration and understanding the science in order to confidently explain concept was crucial, the art of demonstrating was the real challenge in this assignment. These two demonstrations can be performed in front of a range of audience from primary school to tertiary students. What is important is the messaging strategy and how we mould the message to best suit our target audience.

I based my messaging around secondary school students and having no pool of students, I tested my teaching method on my brother and sister to see if I am really engaging them. I could tell that they were feigning disinterest but were in fact pretty excited about the demonstration that I was constructing and it made me feel like they would actually pay more attention if their teacher was teaching the concept using this demonstration.

For me personally, I learn better when I formulate and rationalise concepts by myself and so my teaching method was based on the “let’s see what happens” approach and getting the audience to explain the phenomenon that they are seeing.

It was definitely a very eye-opening and different experience for me personally and the thought process that went into the demonstration actually helped me understand on the processes that I should be thinking about when I am working on new communication strategies for patients or doctors in my line of work.

Also pretty stoked for the Bucket Symposium in a month or so, to improvise this demonstration and hopefully

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