Well my plan to post a blog entry every day was derailed by the rubbish wifi in each hotel. Honestly! Don't promote your hotel as having wifi if the service is this bad. Better to say you don't have it and not disappoint your guests! Rant over :-) All this travelling seems to blend the days together in my memory. Here's a quick catchup on what's happened so far...
On Tuesday I was at Chung Hwa High School in Miri. Only time for one session so I did the Buffon's needle experiment. After several hundred needle throws we got pi to be 2.9. We talked about reasons why the experiment might give a different value to the actual value (3.1, to one decimal place).
After lunch we headed off to the airport for our flight to Sibu. After checking in at the hotel we were whisked off for a meal in a local restaurant. I'm still amazed that the temperature is well above 30C late into the night. Still mostly cloudy and not many stars. I thought I saw Mars from the hotel bedroom and a few other stars but couldn't recognise any familiar constellations. Very disorientating really!
An early start the next day: 7.30am at Methodist High School. Hot, sunny day. Four 45 minute sessions with a total of 200 students. I made astronomy the theme of the day and we explored resolutions to Fermi's paradox and discussed the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. And with some 3D images thrown in for good measure. Where are the aliens? Given the vast number of planets scattered across the galaxy with many potential sites for life....why do we see no evidence of life beyond the Earth? There were great discussions among students in each group, although many were shy about volunteering their thoughts "publicly" in front of the class. Suggested resolutions to the paradox ranged from "It's God's will" to "they were alive at different times to us" and many more in between.
Around about lunchtime the heat got to me. After 3 hours of teaching I had go back to the hotel or risk keeling over in front of classes at the next school. I returned to the hotel, climbed into the fridge for a few hours and was fine after that.
Wednesday evening was another meal at another restaurant. Meeting parents and potential students. Not as formal as I thought it would and a nice evening with good food and company.
Thursday morning we're off to Johor Bahru. I'll be meeting around 140 students at Foon Yew High School. Two lessons - probably Buffon's needle and Fermi's Paradox.
Must sleep now...waking up in three hours.
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Dr Adrian Jannetta. Amateur astronomer, maths teacher and science enthusiast.