WHERE IT ALL BEGAN...
REMEMBERING THE FIRST ADVANCED CONCEPT LECTURE FOR HIGH SCHOOLERS - THE EVENT THAT STARTED IT ALL!
More than 10 years before the creation of National Lab Day, at a time when there was just beginning to be a dialog about increasing the amount of attention in schools toward science and math, Marshall Barnes, then a highly experienced professional in the technology field of video production, and just beginning to get into quantum physics and scientific research, had the idea of presenting some of the advanced concept ideas that he was learning from his mentor Fred Alan Wolf, PhD to any high school physics student who wanted to see Wolf lecture. Thus, Taking The Quantum Leap with Fred Alan Wolf was born and the first in what would later become a long series of successful advanced concept STEM projects for Central Ohio youth and beyond, that Marshall would be responsible for. Using his marketing expertise and experience as a concert and event producer, Marshall was able to get sponsors at different levels and then contacted every physics teacher in Franklin county to tell them of the event. It was free to any physics student in Franklin County regardless of whether they were from a public, private, or parochial school. Some 300 students attended, along with about another 100 adults, on the evening of March 29th, 1993 at Battelle Memorial Institute auditorium, to hear Wolf explain the strange world of quantum mechanics and relate it to every day life.
Faded copy of the original program cover of
Taking the Quantum Leap With Fred Alan Wolf
Fred Alan Wolf was already an award winning author for his book, Taking the Quantum Leap and had come to Marshall's attention due to Wolf's book, Parallel Universes:The Search for Other Worlds. At the time, the subject of quantum physics was just coming into popularity in the mainstream. Marshall knew of the importance of the topic and that high schoolers didn't get any real exposure to quantum mechanics. Marshall knew, particularly with the references from quantum mechanics in many popular sci-fi movies and TV shows, that this would be a subject that would stimulate the interest and imagination of the high schoolers and as a result, it would be a perfect educational event for them to see.
Below is a video clip of Fred Alan wolf's character, Dr. Quantum, explaining the famous double slit experiment, one of the things that Fred covered during his presentation at Battelle.