Happy Birthday, Mr. Wizard!

Tomorrow is the birthday of Don Herbert, who was born July 10, 1917.  Millions of baby boomers and television viewers know him better as “Mr. Wizard” or “America’s favorite science teacher.”

Herbert was the creator and host of “Watch Mr. Wizard” (1951-1965), “Mr. Wizard” (1971-1972) and “Mr. Wizard’s World (1983-1990).  A generation of today’s technologists was first introduced to science as children watching the calm and entertaining teacher.  Herbert was the forerunner of Bill Nye the Science Guy, Professor Proton, Mythbusters, Nova, Discovery and many other science programs on television today.  Herbert died in 2007 at the age of 89.

Agilent recognizes the importance of exposing children to the wonders of science at an early age.  The company sponsors “Agilent After School,” a hands-on science program for children.  Agilent employee volunteers help lead young students through various science experiments.  Complete programs-in-a-box contain all of the materials for children to build 24 science experiments such as electronic-circuit games, balloon-powered cars, clean water engineering and more.

Recently, the city of Torino, Italy hosted a special group of children from Belarus, aged eight to 11.  These children lived less than 100 miles from Chernobyl, just outside the prohibited zone of a 1986 nuclear disaster.  The children were in Torino to attend school, participate in family events, and receive medical treatment.  One of the trip’s highlights was taking part in Agilent After School.

“Our young visitors are experiencing school, teachers and education in a vastly different environment,” says Agilent’s Lucia Piangerelli.  “With Agilent After School, they have the chance to be inspired by hands-on science. They can ask questions without feeling intimidated, listen to a mentor explain ‘how’ and ‘why,’ and take their finished projects home with them.

“The children leave feeling excited, engaged and very proud.”

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