Why a Lanka Comic Con Science and Technology Fair?

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How many Ramanujans are living in Sri Lankan villages, without access to the Internet? How many Nikola Teslas are on the road to Puttalam?
— Satis Arnold

Where there are Geeks, you will always find Nerds. Sometimes they do not get along. Sometimes they work together to create something more powerful. The rest of the world cannot tell us apart - and the rest of the world is correct.We are two sides of the same coin.

The Lanka Comic Con Science and Technology Fair is a place for businesses, students, and educators, to see what they can offer each other. Stalls are very inexpensive, and given low as cost for some groups. We want you to present, impress, and grow.

 

Who This is For

Businesses. We want businesses to have a low-cost platform where they can show off or sell new technologies that they are developing, or bringing into the country. We want them to find new partners or investors, and recruit smart young people. Small and medium enterprises will do best. A low-cost, technology trade show, will be good for the country.

Many parents have it in their heads that kids are too “busy” for many activities outside of school, and if it’s not required in school, it’s not important or even worthwhile.
— Jessica Kwatick-Perera, on Science as a school hobby

Teachers and schools. They can demonstrate the strength of their science curriculum- mostly by putting forward their students, and their exhibits. It does not matter what you invent - if you cannot present it well, you’ll go nowhere. Schools with strong science programs can get the recognition they deserve.

Students and parents. Some of you are going to want to know what the best schools are for teaching science. Others will want to know what sort of professions in Sri Lanka, are awaiting your children. I assure you, your children probably want to know even more than you do. At the fair they are going to meet employers, and many may not be what you would expect.

We are also going to allow individual students to come forward, and present science exhibits. Even if your school is not interested, even if your parents aren't interested, you can do a science project. See Lanka is big on getting approvals and permissions to do anything interesting. We however, are not. No one will ever give you permission to do something great, so you may as well get started.

Enthusiasts. Last year, we had two astronomy groups and a student team that sent a balloon to the edge of space. We want more of that. Share your passion, grow your groups, and use this as a national platform. You dare to do things, in a country where the national pastime is waiting for other people to fail. Come and show them that creating things is not that hard, and they may as well try it.

Children. If you can get children interested in science, then nothing else matters. Whatever else happens in their lives, they will know this is something that will give them joy and confidence. Later, it will give the power. Over their own lives, and to transform the world they live in. Of everything just mentioned, Inspiring children is the most important thing we can try to do.  

 

Big Picture Questions

Not everyone chooses Sciences at school. How many who do, graduate with passes? How many go on to do science at University level?  What percentage start businesses and create value? How many leave the country with their precious skills, because they don't see local opportunity?

Now most of the world scientific scholarship is available online. How many Sri Lankans can afford devices to online, or to afford data? Most of that information is available in English. How many Sri Lankans are learning English?

These are national questions. We can't answer them, but we should be asking.

 

The Hidden

Genius happens. The world's greatest mathematician, was a misunderstood, poor, Indian clerk. His name was Ramanujan. He died in 1920, and we are still trying to decipher his notes. We know about him largely by chance - after years and years of fighting to be noticed, he finally was, in a letter to Cambridge.

How many Ramanujans are living in Sri Lankan villages, without access to the Internet? How many Nikola Tesla’s are on the road to Puttalam?

Answers come from questions, not vice versa.