LLNL’s Saturday science lectures return with a range of fascinating topics

Jan. 31, 2008

LLNL’s Saturday science lectures return with a range of fascinating topics

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) popular lecture series, “Science on Saturday,” returns Feb. 9 and runs through March 8. This year’s talks explore an array of interesting topics — geothermal energy, what makes up the universe, the world’s largest laser and our energy future, greenhouse gas reduction and protecting our nation’s livestock. Lectures will be held in a new location — the Bankhead Theater located at 2400 First St. in Livermore.

Each presentation in the series is a collaboration of Lab scientists and a science teacher and highlights cutting-edge LLNL science that is aimed at the understanding of students. The lectures are sponsored by LLNL’s Science Education Program.

Kicking off the series on Feb. 9 is “Geothermal Energy:  Harnessing the Heat Beneath your Feet,” presented by John Ziagos and Carol Bruton, LLNL scientists, and Ken Wedel, a Tracy High School teacher. This lecture explains how a source of renewable energy lies below our feet and is largely untapped.  It heats groundwater by conduction and convection as it travels toward the surface of the earth. During the lecture, attendees will learn how geothermal energy can be used to generate electricity or heat buildings.

The series of five free lectures and demonstrations is targeted at middle and high school students. Topics are selected from the forefront of
science and technology research in a variety of disciplines. In addition to the Feb. 9 lecture, the following talks are offered:

  • Feb. 16 — “Our Dark and Messy Universe: How One Particle Might Light the Way,” presented by Steve Asztalos, LLNL scientist, and Tom Shefler, Granada High School teacher.

  • Feb. 23 — “From the Sun to the Sun: The Story on the National Ignition Facility and Our Energy Future,” presented by Edward Moses, LLNL scientist, and Dan Burns, Los Gatos High School teacher.

  • March 1 — “Greenhouse Reduction: Underground Storage of Carbon Dioxide,” presented by Julio Friedmann, LLNL scientist, and Bret States, Tracy High School teacher.

  • March 8 — “Protecting the Nation’s Livestock: Corralling Foreign Diseases,” presented by Pamela Hullinger, LLNL scientist, and Patti Carothers, Monte Vista High School teacher.

All lectures are open to the public and held at the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. Two presentation are offered each Saturday at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis and there is no pre-registration. Admission is free of charge.

Teachers attending the presentations will receive a copy of the PowerPoint slides used in the lecture, and a DVD with the movie from the talk. More information about Science on Saturday, directions and a map is available at http://education.llnl.gov/sos/ or contact Richard Farnsworth at (925) 422-5059.