“Dinner with a Scientist” Satisfies Hungry Students’ Appetite For Knowledge

Angels Camp, CA…The 2016 “Dinner with a Scientist” brought together 19 local and regional scientists with 30 teachers and 88 students from Calaveras and Amador counties on Thursday, November 17 at Calaveras River Academy/Mtn Oaks gymnasium. While everyone enjoyed an elegant three-course meal, scientists shared their enthusiasm and advice about careers in technology and science. The evening was hosted by the Calaveras County Office of Education (CCOE) with funding from the Teichert Foundation.



Professional scientists working in fields such as archeology, fire science, chemical safety, veterinary medicine, wildlife biology, wastewater treatment, education, aerospace engineering, forensics and geospatial technology all signed up to spend an evening sharing about their area of expertise. Select students with a particular interest or talent in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subjects were invited by their teachers to participate in this special event.

The evening began with ‘scavenger hunt’ icebreaker, followed by a keynote address entitled “Drones in GIS” by Dr. Jeff Tolhurst, a geologist at Columbia College. Dr. Tollhurst shared an exciting – and potentially frightening – vision of the future of drone technology, a field which is exploding right now and offers tremendous opportunities for bright young engineers.

Each team of students and teachers rotated to different tables to meet a new scientist for the appetizer, entrée, and dessert portions of the meal. Volunteers provided table service to add an elegant touch and allow students and scientists to enjoy uninterrupted conversation.

“The goal of ‘Dinner with a Scientist’ is to inspire the next generation of scientists. We are hoping to nurture relationships and student interest in participating in the county Science Fair next March,” said Lauren Robinson, youth development programs coordinator for CCOE. “Plus, we wanted to create a fun, delicious, and memorable experience for everyone!”

The Calaveras County Science Fair takes place Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Calaveras River Academy/Mtn Oaks Gymnasium. Interested students and teachers should contact Lauren Robinson at (209) 736-6094 or lrobinson@ccoe.k12.ca.us.