Monday, February 20, 2012

Canada and the SB&F Awards.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Maren, Hansen, Lillie and I are home from a trip to Canada for a the Science Book and Film (SB&F) Awards sponsored by Subaru (awesome cars) and held at the American Advancement for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Conference which took place this year in Vancouver B.C. Canada.  Preston is home from a soccer tournament in Portland Oregon.  While I don't have any pictures of Preston's soccer tournament (he traveled with his coach and the team...I went to Canada) I have plenty of Canada.  So lets get started!

Getting ready to cross the American/Canadian border.  The line wasn't too long this way, it would be much longer coming home.  We had to turn off our data roaming on our phones as to not be charged huge fees by needless internet surfing in Canada.  
Money!  Hansen was very excited to change our money to Canadian money.  Canadian money is beautiful, and worth about the same, if not more than American money these days.  Hansen still has his Canadian money because he decided the money itself was a better souvenir than anything he could have spent it on.
Now inside the conference center.  One of the many huge signs welcoming all to the AAAS Annual Meeting.  There were other signs that were easier to photograph, but this huge globe and the windows made for a very cool view of the soaking wet city.
And it did rain pretty much the whole time we were there.  This picture was taken on the way to breakfast with the authors!  Maren's invite to breakfast with the award winning authors was extended to myself and the kids.  Lillie had a lost bag incident which soured her mood for a little while, but the amazing buffet of yumminiess helped to pull her out of her funk.  I really like these breakfasts, you really can get a feel for who these authors are as humans.  I always (third year for me, first year for the kids!) leave these breakfasts in awe of the work that goes into each of these books.
The authors each had an hour long reading/meeting session at the main conference center that Maren helped out with.  Saturday was day one of Family Science Days as well.  I took the kids around to most all the booths and we learned tons of stuff.  Well, I did...Hansen seems pretty up to speed on his science knowledge!  There were also speakers every half an hour, but we spent our time with the hands on stuff.
 This may have been Lillie's favorite stand.  Actually run by folks from the U of W, this was a booth on yeast as an accelerant.  Folks could try adding baking soda and such, but he yeast would make foam come flying out of the cups...and I guess it looks like elephant toothpaste.
 Hansen enjoying creating and using solar energy to energize fuel cells.
 Sea Turtles and other sea life!  There was even a tank with live eels in it.  Hansen was going to show the eels his eel skin wallet, but then figured that wouldn't be very nice.  On a similar amusing note, Lillie brought her little suffed chicken that she won from a school drawing.  A couple times Lillie had chicken for dinner or lunch and had to come back and we all had to agree to not mention eating chicken in front of her stuffed chicken...yikes.
 Creating energy from water.  This little water powered generator would easily charge a cell phone and turn on an i-pod with very little water.  Bring out cell phones, i-pads, and create energy, and Hansen is all ears!
 Bugs!  Lillie really liked the "Rent-Free Roommates" title given to bugs such as spiders, bees and such.
 Even letting kids hold owls and birds that not exactly living.
 I liked this booth.  On the screen you can see me taking a picture of the thermal image of Hansen and myself created by an infrared camera.  Our glasses don't produce heat and my hat and shoulders are still damp from the rain.  I never realized they use infrared technology on telescopes to get far better images of planets far far away.
 More science fun.
 Lillie using toothpicks, licorice, and marshmallows to create a double helix.
And my last picture of Family Science stuff is this robot camera for photographing the underwater world.  There were just tons and tons of cool things!
Maren is the chairperson of the SB&F award for Young Adult Science Books.  The winner this year was Thor Hanson for his book Feathers.  Here he is reading excerpts from his book and answering questions not far from all the science displays from above.
Thor Hanson and Maren posing in front of the cool poster of the cover of Thor's book.
 And the actual awards ceremony.  From left to right was Vicky Cobb, Lifetime Achievement Award.  Joan Dunning, Picture Book award for Seabird in the Forest.  Joan was the first person to ever win this award who both authored and illustrated the book.  I enjoyed getting to talk to Joan during the author's breakfast.  Maria Sosa, editor of SB&F, doing a great job as MC.  Thor Hanson, Young Adult Science Book for Feathers.  And Sandra Markle, Middle Grade Science Book, for The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs.  This year the authors all gave great speeches and Maria did a great job talking about the process of the awards and such.  I thought it was a great ceremony.
 Hansen and Lillie didn't really go for the amazing appetizers and snacks at the awards buffet.  But they didn't mind hanging in the corner playing Angry Birds on my phone for a bit while us oldies chit chatted.
 Check this picture out.  It is the Olympic Cauldron from the Winter Olympic Games from 2010.
A little shopping in the mall.  Lillie loves her new beret and matching gloves. 
One last Starbucks before hitting the road home.
 Hansen too!
The kids really enjoyed the hotel.  We were in the Westin Bay Shore with a great view out the back.  From this view you could see float planes taking off and landing as well as runners and walkers on the boardwalk.  The pool, hot tub and exercise room were great.  Hansen went 6K on an elliptical while Lillie went in between the pool and hot tub.  Maren and I went in between the hot tub, pool, and exercise all the adults there, we kind of tried to avoid the young couple making out and taking things a bit too far both nights in a row in the pool and hot tub area.
Driving home yesterday, good bye Canada!  This last shot is of the Peace Arch.

Preston's team lost game one and won game two.  They didn't advance to the finals, but had a good tournament.  Preston scored a couple of goals and assisted in a couple more.  Now the select soccer season is over for a bit and high school soccer will be starting soon.  Hansen is also going to play soccer this spring.  Lillie has dance tonight, but we are enjoying the day off thanks to President's Day.  Back to going and going and going.

See you tomorrow.


Molly said...

What a fascinating trip. Thanks for all the pix and the explanations. Sounds like you all had a great time. Being an engineer I always like to see science exhibits that interest & attract young people.

Tell Hansen that my brother-in-law collects the smallest-denomination paper money from each country he visits. The Bahamas has a paper half-dollar bill, almost as colorful as Canadian $. In fact, Bahamaian paper money is printed in Canada.

Meaningful Maniacal Mediocrity said...

I loved this conference as a kid! I'm also an engineer, and I found this randomly and smiled. As a European living in Canada, I do wish American money were prettier... Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great trip travelogue. I'm glad Lillie's stuffed chicken didn't find out what you were eating!