Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Scientist who helped discover the Higgs boson to kick off Randolph Science Festival

A scientist involved in one of the most important recent scientific discoveries will headline the Randolph College Science Festival in March.

Don Lincoln, a Fermilab scientist, will present the Science Festival’s keynote address, “Fireworks in July – An Insider’s Account of the Discovery of the Higgs boson,” at 7:30 p.m. on March 21. It will kick off four days of events that help people of all ages learn about—and have fun with—science.
The Randolph College Science Festival helps people discover the science that powers innovations we all love. Find out more on the Science Festival website, or read a detailed list of events below.

Lincoln worked on the team of scientists that used the Large Hadron Collider in Europe to test for the existence of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle that is important to scientific theories about the beginnings of the universe. Last summer, the team announced that it had discovered what appeared to be a Higgs boson.

“The discovery of the Higgs boson is probably the biggest scientific discovery of the century,” said Peter Sheldon, a Randolph physics professor who organizes the Science Festival. “The large-scale science Dr. Lincoln is here to talk about impacts everyone, and he is able to really bring it to life.”

Lincoln is known for explaining deep scientific principles in a way that is easy for non-scientists to grasp—for example, he has written books and delivered a TED Talk about the Higgs boson, and also has a YouTube video with more than a million views. “He is able to show the beauty and express the importance of this and other discoveries,” Sheldon said. “He is a speaker you do not want to miss.”

After Lincoln’s keynote address, Science Festival will continue on Friday when Lincoln leads a class at Randolph College at 11:30 a.m. Members of the public may attend if they contact Sheldon in advance as seating is limited.

Other Science Festival events this year include:

Friday, March 22

The Center for Student Research Open House—Come learn about student research opportunities and achievements at Randolph College. 2:30 p.m., West 106
Women in Science Panel—Learn about how the College’s alumnae have built careers in science. 3:30 p.m., Nichols Theatre, Student Center
Poetry Competition Reading—More than 1,000 students have submitted science-themed poems to this year’s contest. 6:30 p.m., Wimberly Recital Hall, Presser Hall
A Scientist Goes to the Movies: The Avengers—Randolph mathematics professor Marc Ordower will dress as Nick Fury and offer scientific commentary about this popular film. Wear your own superhero costume for a chance to win a prize! 8 p.m., Nichols Theatre, Student Center

Saturday, March 23

Science Day Fun for Little Scientists—Randolph students will lead children in age-appropriate science-based activities at the Randolph College Nursery School. Noon and 1:30 p.m. (Requires pre-registration.)
Science Day—This popular event will include science-based activities for students in grades 3–6. (Requires pre-registration.)
Star Party—View stars, planets, and other astronomical bodies at Winfree Observatory. In the event of rain, a slideshow will be shown. 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 24

Art and Animals Drawing Contest—Draw animals from the College’s collection of birds and mammals. 1–3 p.m., Martin Science Building
Drop-in Science Activities—Science demonstrations including robots, lasers, nature, and more. 1–3 p.m., Martin Science Building
Pinewood Derby Regional Competition—We host this annual race for the Cub Scouts again. 1–4 p.m., Houston Memorial Chapel