Nerd Nite!

Hi all. I just want to say how proud I am of myself for having a super successful Nerd Nite talk on Tuesday. I am going to toot my own horn. It was great. People were engaged. People asked thoughtful questions. And, I got applause from answering those questions thoughtfully. I am so pleased.

As I wrote before, I really forced myself to go through a clear, detailed planning process. It paid off. I promise you that the work is worth it. Starting from scratch, even if you’ve done it before, is fully worth it.

I wanted to share my slide deck (pdf). It makes no sense without me talking over it, however, I would be happy to talk you through it. I’m also proud of how beautiful it is. Mega credits to my incomparable Beaty Museum team for the photos, which are available to all through a creative commons license.


If anyone knows how to embed a pdf or google slides directly in wordpress, it would be much appreciated.


Summer recap!

Well apparently I’ve taken nearly 3 months off of blog writing. I think it goes without saying that I had a busy summer. Very busy…

The biggest highlight was heading to the Visitor Studies Association Conference in Indianapolis in July. It was wonderful and inspiring, and I have so many ideas! I am really looking forward to applying some of these ideas in our new exhibits to study our visitor habits in-depth.

Some questions I hope to look at are:

  • Are self-led participatory elements worth it? Do people use the materials for ourĀ intended purpose?
  • When people look at exhibits, are they engaging with the material or just pointing their faces at content?
  • What type of exhibits help people journey from looking to learning the most effectively?

So interesting! Such a fun part of my job, along with all of the other fun things. I love understanding what makes people tick.

Happy Darwin Day!

Today is Charles Darwin’s 206th birthday, and the whole museum is in the best mood! We even have a cake contest in the afternoon. YESSS.

I did not bring a cake, because I had a swordfighting class last night. I am regretting not making a cake though, because I have a kick-ass idea for a cake focusing on eyes…. Get it? Focusing?

Anyway – click through the pangolin cake for the gallery of rad cakes from previous years.

Pangolin Echidna cake

I self identify (very positively) as a nerd. I love learning, I wax passionately about science, and I meet many stereotypes.

Yesterday, on my way home from Nerd Nite, I realized that I had at least three separate allergic reactions happening simultaneously. I say at least, because I can only pay attentions to so many symptoms at once. I am lactose intolerant, allergic to fragrances, wear glasses, have a retainer, and had braces as a child. Did this predispose me to being a successful adult nerd? I am so curious!

Has anyone actually tested if there is a correlation between nerdyness (self-identified, externally identified) and of wearing glasses, braces, developing allergies, etc?

I’d like to see some research.