[caption id="attachment_659" align="alignright" width="300"]ScienceFestival_Team_2_crop Most of the Mindful Mammoth team from the 2013 SAMO Science Fest. One person had to leave early, and got left out of the photo. Sorry Joey.[/caption] Last Saturday, Mindful Mammoth put on an activity booth at the fourth annual Santa Monica Mountains Science Fest. This was the first public appearance for Mindful Mammoth, and it turned out well. We had three tables, each with a different activity: a daisy dissection, a Fire and Flora demo display, and two copies of the Puzzle of Life. Most of the attendees were kids, and most of those were on the younger end, under 12. From past years, I'd expected this, and made sure that two of the three activities were appropriate for all ages (the daisies and the PoL). A few of the kids were older. Some of those older kids, and a few of the parents, paused to look at the FnF display, and signed up to be playtesters. ScienceFestival_Tim_w_Third_Eye_2_cropAs a reward for trying our activities, we had two kinds of temporary tattoos: an extra eye, and a Mindful Mammoth head. First thing that morning, I stuck an eye on my forehead. That is, after all, what they were for. It always bothers me when I offer bribes for learning or participation, as I much prefer games and activities that are their own reward. But kids at the Science Fest are trained to expect rewards, and I must admit that the reward system worked very well. In the early afternoon, a youngish kid, maybe 9 years old, ask me for an eye tattoo. I told him that to get a tattoo, he had to take apart a daisy, and see what was inside. I led him through that exercise, gave him the tattoo, and he ran off. About ten minutes later, he came back with two friends, and told me that both of them also wanted eye tattoos. I said that was fine, but his friends would also have to take apart a daisy to get a tattoo. He immediately led them both through the daisy exercise, the same one that I'd just put him through, and then all three happily left with their eye tattoos. So this kid, who appeared to be there just for the swag, had actually listened enough to be able to teach that information to his friends! That was very satisfying. In the end, it was a good day. Our planning and hard work paid off. We didn't have anything for sale, so as a business venture, it wasn't much to speak of. However, that was fine, as we hadn't intended this as a business-type day. Rather, all three activities worked as intended, and were obviously both fun and interesting. So, from an outreach perspective, the day was a big success. I take this success as a welcome validation of my skills and ideas. Being an inexperienced businessman, my goal has always been to do good work and make quality products in the expectation that this work will be recognized and rewarded, at least enough to pay the rent. So I feel like I'm on track with the first part of that plan. Good works - check.