The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Skeptical Teacher Displays Awesomeness at Skepchicamp!

Posted by mattusmaximus on March 9, 2010

Well, I’ve had a couple of days to process all that took place during the first Chicago SkeptiCamp, also known as Skepchicamp. In addition to outlining what I contributed, I’d also like to provide some of the thoughts & feedback from others in attendance…

My presentation, titled Bringing Skepticism into the Physics Classroom, was a display of my belief in “sacrificing myself for science” whereby I perform a variety of extraordinary and dangerous demonstrations in the hopes of dispelling any notions of paranormal woo.  Specifically, I performed three impressive physical feats: walking barefoot on broken glass, breaking five wooden boards with my fist, and laying between two beds of nails while a concrete cinder block is crushed on my chest. Talk about fun times! 🙂

As I told the audience, when I perform these demos for my students I’m not proving that there is no such thing as chi/ki/qi or whatever other New Age “life force” paranormal woo-woo is often invoked to explain these phenomena.  Instead, what I’m encouraging my students to do is simply apply Occam’s Razor to the scenario: their understanding of basic physics is all that is necessary to explain things… no woo required.

For a fuller view of the awesomeness I displayed, check out this great footage shot during my presentation (hat tip to the Bolingbrook Babbler)…

… and here’s another one from a fellow Skepchicamp organizer…

Last, but definitely not least, there’s the post bed of nails photo of me displaying my sexy, bare & completely intact chest whilst a lot of pissed-off spirit orbs fly around (they must not like all the woo-bashing 😉 )…

Read on for other perspectives on Skepchicamp…

Akusai & Magus over at Action Skeptics did an awesome job of live blogging the entire event.  If you want to get a great play by play of the whole thing, including detailed posts on the various speakers & their topics, go check out their posts.

Not to mention, there is a fun take on Skepchicamp from the Bolingbrook Babbler, which is worth a look if for no other reason than to get a few good laughs 🙂

So there you have it, physics awesomeness displayed by yours truly, a whole bunch of other great presentations, food & music, and just a general all-around good time had by all.  I can’t wait until next year! 😀

One Response to “Skeptical Teacher Displays Awesomeness at Skepchicamp!”

  1. […] Matt Lowry discusses how he “displayed awesomeness” at camp […]

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