Nobel Laureates talk science with high school students
The energy level was pulsating at North High School in Phoenix this week when nearly 1,000 high school students talked science, politics and economics with three Nobel Laureates and an Arizona State University theoretical physicist.
Nobel Laureates Baruch Blumberg, David Gross and Steven Weinberg were in town to participate in the Origins Symposium at Arizona State University. The April 3-6 symposium is convening more than 70 scientists and public intellectuals to discuss the origins of everything, from the universe to humanity.
“One of our goals was to reach out to school children and let them hear first-hand what scientists do,” says Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist, and director of the Origins Initiative at ASU.
Krauss, author of several books including “The Physics of Star Trek,” organized the Origins Symposium at ASU.
“For me, the high school event was one of the highlights of the whole symposium,” Krauss says. He beams when he describes the experience as “a room of 1,000 kids who were excited about science and couldn’t wait to ask questions.”
The high school visit was “an opportunity for high school students to find out about the process of becoming a scientist, what it feels like to win a Nobel Prize, and what it was that made these Nobel Laureates want to devote their lives to the study of the universe,” Krauss says.
The Nobelists described their high schools days and how they explored science on their own – in libraries – noting that students today have the Internet.
The students erupted with cheers when Gross, recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics, said it was great to be with the students and “see so much enthusiasm. I hope some of it’s for science.”
The April 2 event at North High School in Phoenix, brought students from more than a dozen high schools in the Phoenix Union and the Tolleson Union high school districts. It was sponsored by the ASU Origins Initiative, ASU Gammage, ASU Education Partnerships and the Phoenix Union High School District.
The Origins Symposium is accessible to the public through a live captioned webcast. More details are at http://origins.asu.edu/symposium.