Retired FSU Vice President for Research Kirby Kemper joined me in hosting a Future Physicists of Florida induction ceremony for 48 middle school students from Orlando Science School last Friday. The ceremony was held in the FSU Physics Department’s lecture hall and it followed a tour of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Kirby offered the students, who were accompanied by several parents and some of the school’s leaders, the same advice he says he gives to his own grandchildren. Learn a language different from English. Really understand your cell phone. And more.
When Kirby was finished sharing, it was time for the fun part – the presentation of the certificates.
As each student came up to accept a certificate, the others students in the room heartily cheered, calling out nicknames or whatever else occurred to them. The kids were having a blast.
The 48 students who attended Friday’s induction ceremony were probably the biggest concentration of middle school math and science talent in one place anywhere in Florida that day. Orlando Science School routinely excels in Science Olympiad competitions. They eat middle school math competitions for lunch. They rock at robotics, too.
But none of that mattered on Friday. They were just 48 middle school kids who love traveling together, cheering each other on and being themselves. And the parents who came along got to just relax and watch. And take pictures, of course.