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- SciTech Festival
Attend a FREE, fun-filled educational event on Saturday, November 2, featuring interactive Science, Technology, Engineering and Math exhibits and a speaker series!
At the event you’ll enjoy hands-on exhibits provided by:
- Dysart Unified Solar Karts, Robotics and Makerspace Teams
- Surprise Police, Fire-Medical, Water Conservation and other city departments
- Businesses and universities
- And much more!
Plus, food will be available for purchase from a variety of food trucks!
SciTech Speaker Series
Plan to attend one, or all, of the Surprise SciTech speaker series sessions while on campus!
Session 1 - Can Machines Think?
Speaker: Dr. William Blaker, Retired, RISE Learning for Life
Although no computer existing today can think precisely in the same way as a human, is it theoretically possible that a more advanced computer in the future may indeed be able to do so? This question has been hotly debated by neuroscientists, computer scientists, and philosophers starting in the 1950’s, soon after electronic computers were first developed. There are good theoretical arguments on both sides, and these will be presented along with their counterarguments. Finally, if a computer could think like a human, would that make it a “person” with legal rights?
Speaker Bio: Dr. William Blaker is a West Valley resident and retired biology professor who has done research and taught about the brain for over 35 years. He has published over 20 research articles on the topic and has received teaching awards from Virginia Tech and Furman University.
Session 2 - Apollo 11 – How did we walk on the Moon 50 years ago?
Speaker: Gary Loeb, Arizona Challenger Space Center
This year is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the Moon. How and why did our scientist, engineers, politicians and, of course, astronauts get it done? This presentation takes a look behind why we launched Apollo 11 to the Moon and shows the details of the amazing 1960’s technologies used to get three men there safely. Many questions will be answered, such as “Why were Neil, Buzz and Mike chosen as the crew for Apollo 11?”, “Did the USA actually develop the whole Apollo Moon program between 1961 and 1969?”, and “wasn’t the Moon landing just a Hollywood hoax?”. Come and participate in another great presentation by the Arizona Challenger Space Center!
Speaker Bio: Gary Loeb recently retired after a 39-year career as an electric power generation engineer and is now a docent with the Arizona Challenger Space Center, where he is assisting with the development of the Center’s new facility, soon to be built in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Gary is originally from the east coast and has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Worchester (MA) Polytechnic Institute.
Session 3 - The Imposter, Halo Effect, Affinity, and Beyond! The Science of Bias and Leadership
Speaker: Dr. Stephen Davis, Arizona State University
Via an interdisciplinary approach to Cultural Anthropology, Human Evolution, and Social Psychology, we’ll discuss some key reasons for the biases and the “walls” that we create in and between our groups---from “biological imperatives” to learned “othering” behaviors, we’ll try to explain (but not necessarily excuse or approve of) many of the biases, assumptions, and privileging behaviors that make up our social and political lives, rather than just dismissing them all as small-mindedness, jealousy, and/or hate.
Speaker Bio: Dr. Stephen Davis is a full-time lecturer in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at ASU, where he co-teaches a “Cultural and Chemical History of Beer” course together with Matthew Rodgers, who is a (craft beer) homebrewer among his other claims to fame. Dr. Davis is a coach in ASU’s “Academic Bowl” tournaments, and he is also involved in Omicron Delta Kappa (the service and leadership honors society), mentoring programs, honors projects, and study abroad programs including a 6-week adventure in Peru and Bolivia. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well an M.A. degree in Anthropology and an M.A. in Urban and Environmental Geography. He is a former Associate Editor of Latin American History and Culture (as well as World Geography) at Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., and he continues to write, research, and edit as a freelancer. In his "spare" time he perfects his cat-proof Great Wall of Cathay (which is really a cat heaven), writes science fiction, and manages singer-songwriter Lisa Barca and her protest band Scarlet Rescue.