Adwaith and Swapna meeting Dr Lonnie Johnson at the Royal Society

I was fortunate to attend the Sustainability Project Showcase at The Royal Society on Wednesday 27 September 2017.

I was accompanying my son Adwaith who was presenting his TEENTECH award winning project ‘The PALAT ENGINE’ in the event.

To step inside the UK’s national science academy nurtured by the world’s most eminent scientists ranging over centuries from Newton to Darwin to Einstein to Hawking was an awe-inspiring moment of my life. The sculptures and pictures that adorn its impressive building speak the history of modern science in most subtle but compelling manner.

Not contrary to my expectations, the Royal Society faculty were living proof that explained how this academy upholds it fundamental purpose – to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. They were highly knowledgeable, inspiring and supportive people who demonstrated the importance and appreciation of science to every single person – students, teachers, parents and guests. They made sure that every student’s work was acknowledged, appreciated and highlighted throughout the event.

Organising such student events could be time consuming for the Royal Society, but by putting together such events, the life- changing experience that the Royal Society has provided our children is beyond words.

Students setting up for the Sustainability Project Showcase

The main guest of the day was Dr. Lonnie Johnson, US entrepreneur and inventor. He talked about his career as an engineer and innovator during an inspirational key note speech to all the students and accompanying adults. From winning a national school competition for building a robot, he explained how his career has taken him from the U.S. Air force to NASA to inventing the popular toys, the ‘Supersoaker’ and Nerf gun.

To have the opportunity to be involved in this event, listen to words of wisdom from the likes of Dr. Johnson, discuss and explain their dream projects to the esteemed guests and to receive feedback from experts to improve their work were invaluable to the young students to give shape and direction to their career dreams.

I, as a parent, whole heartedly thank the Royal Society for putting this event together to bring a taste of ‘living- science’ in to my child’s experience and for giving him the hope for a bright career.

I encourage schools to get parents involved more in celebrations of student’s science work, it is such a great experience to see your child’s academic success and to be inspired yourself by the creativity and experimentation of the next generation.