Don’t worry if you missed out on the ultimate geek holiday in May (Star Wars Day aka May the Fourth be with you Day) because this summer is packed full of holidays to thrill the science lover in your family.
1. June 30: Meteor Watch Day
There are never any guaranteed meteor showers on June 30, but this day is meant to encourage people to get outside and star-gaze. Astronomers say there are 300 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone. Just let that sink in for a moment. Close your eyes and imagine what flying through space must look like. To our eyes they are teeny tiny insignificant specks in the sky, but image them for what they really are – massive, glowing giants. For those of us who live in a city or suburb, those tiny insignificant specks in the sky may not seem very awe-inspiring. It should be on everyone’s bucket list to, just once, stargaze in an open field, on a clear night, away from the city lights, like our ancestors used to do. This is especially important for our children. Why? Read more at Why Stargazing is Important for Kids and grab the book Starfinder from DK Publishing.
2. July 10: Nikola Tesla’s Birthday
Nikola Tesla was born in 1856 in Croatia and emigrated to the United States in 1884 to work with Thomas Edison. Tesla was an inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. Tesla was renowned for his achievements and showmanship, eventually earning him a reputation in popular culture as an archetypal “mad scientist”.
“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” – Nikola Tesla
3. July 13: Embrace Your Geekness Day
What exactly is a geek? According to Wiki, a geek is someone who is eccentric or non-mainstream, often labeled as peculiar or overly intellectual. Geeks are not social awkward like nerds. They can be extroverted or introverted, but could care less about fashion, being popular, or fitting in. They usually have an obsessive personality, so when something piques their interest, they go all in. They are drawn to science, technology, engineering and math. Science fiction and fantasy genres like Star Trek and Doctor Who appeal to these types of people because the stories are full of concepts that engage intellectuals; the imagery, story lines, and characters suck you in moment after moment, which is perfect for the obsessive person; and they give intellectuals an outlet from the nonsense drama and vulgar comedies that plague our tvs these days.
4. July 20: Moon Day
In 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. This event was reported by NASA as being the single greatest technological achievement of all time. What did Neil Armstrong think about the moon? Although the area was very dark and gray, Neil thought the moon’s surface was beautiful…
“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”
5. July 22: Pi Approximation Day
Pi Day (March 14) has become pretty popular over the last 5 years, however, Pi Approximation Day is slowly gaining traction. Need a quick explanation? July 22 = 22/7 in the day/month format used in many countries around the world. The fraction 22⁄7 is a approximation of pi (3.14).
6. August 12: IBM / PC Day
On August 12, 1981 the first personal computer meant for the home rolled out. It was called the IBM 5150 and was priced between $1600 (basic model) and $3005 (fully functioning, customized model.)
7. August 19: National Aviation Day
Established by President Roosevelt, Aviation Day was issued in honor of Orville Wright, whose birthday was August 19, 1871. Orville Wright was still alive when the proclamation was issued.
8. September 8: Star Trek’s Anniversary
Did you also know that hundreds of engineers and scientists proudly proclaim that their career choices were influenced by Star Trek. How many tv shows can claim that kind of success and influence?? I am eagerly planning for this day like I would usually plan for a vacation. As a matter of fact, this house full of Trekkies plan to celebrate all week! September 8th, 2016 marked 50 years since the original show, featuring Captain Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov aired on television in 1966.
9. September 12: Programmers’ Day
We owe so much to thousands of brilliant software programmers around the world. Programmers’ Day is celebrated on the 256th day of the year, chosen because this is the number of distinct values that can be represented with an eight-bit byte.
10. September 22: Hobbit Day
September 22nd is the birthday of both Bilbo Baggins and his nephew Frodo, two hero characters from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings. Bilbo and Frodo are Hobbits. We like to celebrate this day by eating like Hobbits. While, this day really doesn’t have much to do with STEM, I wanted to throw it in because in my experience, I’ve found that most STEM lovers also have a strong affection for all things Middle Earth.
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