Skeptics presenting at STAVCON 2011

29 November, 2011
By Don Hyatt
The Victorian Skeptics were out in force again this year at the Science Teachers’ Association annual conference STAVCON.

The display attracted a steady stream of interested teachers including, in one case, a former student. Teachers weren’t just attracted by the free Stuff for Teachers DVD or the Skeptics pens, although the new 2012 Skeptics Calendar was a highly prized item. Clearly debunking Kinesiology and the effect of the placebo power wrist band was popular as were fielding the range of “What do you think about ….” questions expertly and wisely addressed by the Vic Skeptics assistants.

The Skeptics also presented a workshop on Real Science for the Real World. Ken Greatorex designed and conducted a unique double blind dowsing experiment, the statists of which matched that of guesswork rather than an ability to dowse. Participants had to ‘dowse’ 5 hidden jars containing water or gravel after ‘calibrating’ their dowsing rod. None of the teachers got all correct, so the $110,000 challenge is still safe! Don Hyatt also covered topics such as homeopathy, power wrist bands, the AVN and SensaSlim. It is fair to say that there was a fair bit of interest in the topics raised.

Don demystifies the trick of Kinesiology to a STAVCON participant. The placebo power wrist band is exposed as a fraud.

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Victorian Skeptics at STAVCON 2010

5 December, 2010

The Victorian Skeptics made their way to the annual science teachers’ conference STAVCON 2010 on Monday and Tuesday 29th – 30th November held at La Trobe University. We displayed our wide range of resources and entertained passers-by with all things skeptical as we competed with book vendors, museums and other educational providers for the teachers’ attention. It was pleasing to see some familiar skeptical faces that we have seen in previous years. ‘Stuff for Teachers’ the CD, was again highly popular as was the recently released Skeptics Victoria fridge magnet calendar.

We also presented two talks titled ‘Science Education – maintaining a perspective in an ever changing world’ at which placebo wrist bands, mobile phone radiation shields and water dowsing were generally debunked.

Many thanks to the Skeptic volunteers: Charles, Don, Ken, Paul, Roy and Terry.

The photograph below shows, President Terry Kelly explaining that he found  not only one wristband didn’t work, but neither does three.

Don

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