Farm Boy in the Big City

Ann and I were invited to give an hour-long presentation at the three-day National Science Teachers Association Conference in Minneapolis this past week. We presented a session entitled Electricity Made Simple. The theme of the conference was Celebrate Science: 10,000 Connections. larryannhiltonmn

You can see right-off-the-bat that they are borrowing from their license plate proclamation of 10,000 lakes. Truth be told, Wisconsin has over 14,000 lakes and most have names. Minnesota, on the other hand, count farm cow tanks and teeny ponds as lakes!

The  hands-on session was designed for teachers who were searching for ideas to teach basic electrity and simple electrical circuits. Participants hooked up a simple circuit with battery, bulb, and wire, and moved to a series circuit, a parallel circuit, and use of switches, ammeters, motors, fans, electromagnet, a home-made light bulb, and LEDs. Teachers were great and session was well attended.

I never feel real comfortable in any big city; lots of people, tall buildings like the IDS center, street noise, cars that will run you over if you’re not careful. Oh, we got by OK, didn’t get lost, thanks to a really fine GPS on our iPhone.larryannthelocalirishpubmn

As you enter the lobby of the Hilton, Conference Headquarters, you see the life-size bronze statue “Joy of Music,” by G.W. Lundeen. Viewing this sculpture is worth the price of a stay. Well, perhaps not, as one night is slightly less than $200, when you add their bloated tax onto the base price. It’s a step up from Motel 6, but Hilton did not “leave the light on.” We had to turn that on ourselves. Fortunately, a portion of our cost was sponsored.

To celebrate a good session and because it was our last night in the big city, we walked a block to The Local, a classic Irish pub with an 80-foot bar, unique rooms, such as the Whiskey Lounge, the Boardroom, the Kissing Room, The Hollow, The Sanctuary, and The Choir.

The waitress, a U of M student, and not an Irish lass, suggested the fish and chips. We went for the American hamburger, but helped it down with a Finnegan’s.



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