Monday, October 04, 2010

What HAVE You Been Up to, Young Man?!??

Everyone needs a hobby, or at least something to fill their idle hours. Being a workaholic, I often fill my so-called idle time with more work. Lately, I've been writing marketing copy, grant proposals, correspondence, and other odd bits of literature for my buddy Darlene the Science Cheerleader. What Dar has come up with is a troupe of professional cheerleaders (NFL, NBA, etc.) with day jobs in the sciences and engineering disciplines who will perform science-themed cheers to inspire more girls to study science, technology, engineering, and math at the inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC, October 23-24. I get to run the booth. Go ahead, hate me.

Anyhow, the Science Cheerleader show/tent will have several things going on:
  • The aforementioned science-themed cheerleading show...the goal being to get girls interested in cheerleading to think about other, future lines of work.
  • A cheerleading clinic for girls of nearly any age (up to 17) who want to learn cheerleading.
  • Discussion, autograph, and picture sessions with the cheerleaders, during which our heroines will be talking science and taking on stereotypes about cheerleaders or blondes (Dar is both) being dumb or science not being sexy.
  • A few other activities will be thrown in as well, but why give it all away?
Darlene has been gathering some attention to her work in the professional cheerleading world, and has worked with the National Science Foundation and NBC Sports to develop a series of videos on the "science of football." Originally envisioned as "the science of cheerleading," Dar took what she could get, and what you see then are a set of videos applying scientific principles to many Americans' (including me and Father Dan) favorite spectator sport.

What am I doing in the middle of all this? Like I said: writing stuff. I'm the man behind the curtain. Invisible, if I can help it, but working diligently to make sure the cheerleaders, who are coming from Houston, Nashville, and elsewhere, have the information they need to get to the show and say what they need to say to the crowd. But yeah: oo, ow, twist my arm, I get to hang out with a group of professional cheerleaders with science or engineering degrees for a weekend. And no, I will NOT be cheering, wearing a skirt, or any such thing. That's for the Science Cheerleaders. Most likely I'll be the gopher/go-fer for most of the weekend, making sure everyone has the giveaways they need, not to mention food and water. And yeah, if someone asks, I can probably chime in with some pithy thoughts about science education and why it's necessary for the general health and well-being of our increasingly technological republic. But again, I'm the man behind the curtain. Goooo, science!

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