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Beetlestone Award Winners

2018 Winner - Stephen Pizzey

As the first ‘Beetlestonian’ I thought I would write a few words on how the year has gone so far. The award has had a profound effect on what I have done and will do. First, the origin of the award through the family has given me a chance to think back on Professor Beetlestone’s achievement in the field and the mood of adventure that prevailed as the UK hands-on scene blossomed in the pre Lottery Grant days. My own contribution to the Prof’s cunning plan to create TECHNIQUEST was to find Ken Gleason, an enthusiastic and resourceful American exhibit developer who is now well known to BIG. In fact I am about meet him again as I write.                                                                       Image above: Steve with his photon (Pizzeytron)

Receiving the award invoked a great feeling of warmth and gratitude that I had been recognised by the community I have worked with and amongst for many years. The effect is still there. Even knowing that I had been nominated made me step to one side mentally to really think about what to do next in addition to running Science Projects, and I resolved to spend more time in the workshop,  ‘Noodling about’ was how Paul Orselli put it. My brain was off to a good start with the invention of my ‘photon maker’. This took about ten minutes to think up and involved bending welding rod around some pegs to make a photon like snake. A photon (I might call it a Pizzeytron) can be produced in 20 seconds and with a bit of arm waving they can be used to demonstrate interference, red shift, blue shift, coherent and incoherent light and an E/M wave. It was shown at a rowdy gathering of fellow Science Festival performers in a bar in to great applause. 

As mentioned in the publicity I am also picking up my interest in ‘Science in The Landscape’ which was the subject of a personal grant from Nesta. This resulted in being invited to organise a conference on theme for the Nordic Science Centres in Iceland and initiate a practical workshop on the streets of Minneapolis/St Paul for ASTC on the theme Science in the urban landscape. I would like to organise another practical workshop or meeting under the banner of the Beetlestone Award. At a recent meeting of the ECSITE space group involving delegates from ESA I thought that there may some opportunity from an Earth resources perspective, I will have a word. 

I wish the next Beetlestonian all the pleasure and inspiration that I have received from my award.

Image above - Science in the landscape. Solar power tower spotted on the horizon near Seville.

To find out more about the Beetlestone Award click here

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