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Musings and Mumblings

Minions, minions everywhere, but ne'er a thought they think.

13 October
External Services:
  • mikethespark@livejournal.com
I am a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Central Oklahoma. That's in Edmond, a suburb of Oklahoma City. I've been teaching there since 1995, and I love it. (Well, I don't love grading papers at all, but the rest of it's pretty much okay.)

I got my B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1987, and got my Ph.D. from Iowa State in 1993. So basically, I've not strayed too far from I-35. :)

In addition to teaching, I also perform chemistry "magic" shows and give science presentations for education and outreach. It's a chance to get kids (and parents) interested in science and it's also one hell of a lot of fun.

I've written science shows based on Harry Potter "Final Exams in Muggle Science", "Gilderoy Lockhart presents the Wonders of Chemistry" among others. Always a big hit, too. I also wrote two scripts featuring "Abby Mae Neodyne: Chemistry Genius Girl" as respectful tributes to Phil and Kaja Foglio's super webcomic "Girl Genius". My daughter has been in these shows since she was 9 years old. (Let me tell you: if there's anything that will get an audience's attention, it's a 9 year-old with a blowtorch!)

If you consider how much you (or your kids) bugged people by asking Why? How? What if...? and all that stuff, remember that scientists do that as their job. Basically, it boils down to this:

Scientists are essentially taller, older kids with a bigger research budget than the average 10 year-old. But the same curiosity is there. That's what makes science so much fun!

I am also an active member of the American Chemical Society, and I head up the annual Mall Event as part of National Chemistry Week every October.