Science and Tech Workshop in Sri Lanka

Just got back from a short trip to Sri Lanka, where I conducted two workshops for teachers.The first was in Maharagama on Dec 15th & 16th. The second workshop was in Kandy on Dec 18th.

Here are some stories about the workshops:

Much thanks to my co-presenters:

  • Dr. Paul Funk – Engineer, US Dept. of Agriculture, New Mexico (Via Skype)
  • Ruben Gameros – Autonomous Collective Systems Laboratory, Arizona State University (Via Skype)
  • Scott Logan – Montessori International School, Mesa, Arizona (Via Skype)
  • Lal Medawattegedera – Lecturer, Open University of Sri Lanka
  • Nalaka Gunewardene – Science writer, author, trustee of the Science and Development Network
  • Nazly Ahmed – Web App Dev at Social Seed Media

Also the two Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr. Ajit Madurapperuma – Dir. Of Information Communication Technology, ICTA
  • Dr. Nalin Samarasinha – Astrophysicist at Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona (Via Skype)

Finally, thanks to the American Center in Sri Lanka who made this possible – especially Joshua Shen.







Hands-On Engneering – Spaghetti Tower Challenge



Hands-on session on Audio Recording

Scot Logan & Students

Hands-on session on Motors and Electro-magnetism

Scott Logan & students at Montessori International School, teach class – via Skype


Aaron Fernando facilitates session


Using audio and video for content creation


Photography in Science – From SLRs to GoPro

Nazly Ahmed, Social Seed Media explains Depth of Field


Engineering & Problem Solving – Building a Solar Oven

Paul Funk, US DOA


Teaching Science Writing

Nalaka Gunewardene

Cardboard 2

Future Ready Classroom – Google Cardboard & Augmented Reality


Future Ready Classroom – Teaching Robotics

Ruben Gameros, ASU, teaches class on robotics – Via Skype

Joshua Shen - STEAM Workshop Introduction

Joshua Shen  Delivers Opening Address

Thanks for supporting the ‘Book Launch’ in Colombo

Just got back, after what seems like a whirlwind book launch.

ParkStreetMews_5I’ve had to use the quote marks around ‘book launch’ because it was not originally planned that way. A series of events, coordinated by some of my friends at the last moment was beyond my expectations.

Those who made this happen included:


While I got to talk of some of the most timely topics covered in the book — Transparency, for instance– I got to meet some very smart people changing the game of marketing, media and communications.

Social Media, which has been on the back burner for many in Sri Lanka (some say it still is, but that’s a debatable point) is being embedded in so many places it was hard to keep up. More on this in a post, later.

If you are interested, check for video clips at, and #ChatRepublic hashtag on Twitter.

My old hangout, American Center turns 60

Happy to learn, from the U.S. Embassy blog in Colombo, that the American Center is celebrating its 60th birthday.

In the eighties, the AC was a part of my growing up. I would ride my bike on Sunday afternoons and settle down in the Communications section of the library. This was where I would catch a week’s worth of pre-recorded ABC News with Peter Jennings. I am sure there are thousands of others to whom this was a portal into a variety of interests.

Happy Birthday, American Center! Read the American Center newsletter here.

So what would it have been like when the American Center opened in Colombo 60 years ago? 1949 was a curious year, with these landmark events: