Wednesday, June 13, 2007

R.I.P. Don Herbert ("Mr. Wizard")

Don Herbert ("Mr. Wizard") died on Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 89.

While convalescing at home in May with the multiple myeloma which killed him, Mr Wizard gave one final interview to Wired News. Here are some of my favorite parts of the interview:

WN: What was the highlight of your career?

Herbert: One of the many highlights was realizing the tremendous effect the Watch Mr. Wizard show had on the mass national audience. After all, we did not tape in front of an audience and the early years were live, kinescope, shows. We didn't get instant feedback.

WN: What advice would you give to the makers of science television programming?

Herbert: Science is about the real world around us and it's filled with fascinating wonders...

Wired News: What advice would you give to the next generation of science educators?

Herbert: To keep a hands-on approach to teaching science and always keep the student involved.

Speaking of science educators, the state of Georgia today announced an action plan to increase the numbers of both students pursuing an education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and teachers prepared to teach courses in these fields in the public schools. In 2006, the 19 teacher-preparation institutions in the University System of Georgia (USG) produced a total of three high-school physics teachers. University System officials are not satisfied with this low number in view of the rapid economic development in the state and projected needs for scientists, engineers, and doctors.

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