March 2013

Flight of the Butterflies: An amazing story

Yesterday I had an opportunity to view an amazing movie at an amazing place. The movie is called “Flight of the Butterflies” and the place is the IMax theatre at the Telus World of Science. I was invited to the preview as a member of the Scientists and Innovators in the Schools community – a group of scientists who visit elementary and secondary school to share their passion about science with the students. I have been a member of this community since I came to Canada eight years ago.

The movie is one of the most memorable IMax movies I have ever seen. It is a wonderful opportunity to discuss what science is, how community gets involved, how exciting it is to figure things out. One of the memorable messages from the movie for me is the realization that scientists have been engaging community in their research for decades, thus “distributing computing” is not a new concept. I do not want to spoil the movie, I just want to recommend it to every child and adult, to every teacher, and community member. I also wanted to mention that the scientists who played a key role in the movie are Canadian, so the movie is great in all respects. Here is the exert from the movie web site:

“Interweaves the story of the monarch butterfly migration, the longest most amazing insect migration on the Planet Earth, and the fascinating scientific detective story of the 30 year long search for their remote overwintering sites in Mexico.

Every Fall half a billion Monarch butterflies head south on an epic three thousand mile journey. We invite you to soar a mile high alongside one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world, as we follow this incredible migration. From Canada through the US to Mexico, they unite these countries and cultures as children watch the skies with wonder. During the spring’s return flight north we encounter other fascinating critters. Bumblebees collecting pollen in flower meadows, thousands of mayflies hatching on the Mississippi river, farmer ants, and sheperding caterpillars up trees and milking them of honeydew. The award winning film production team follows up on the smash success of Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure with a new film about yet more amazing tiny creatures on the giant screen in 3D and 2D.”

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