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Juggler's Apprentice

The Secret Life of Scientists and EngineersThe Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

Click here for Gavin’s profile.

Here’s another post from SLoS associate producer Laura Willcox.

Let me just state this right out: I have absolutely no hand-eye coordination. And when we went to film Gavin and his juggling compatriots, I was of the understanding that I’d be able to remain safely in the shadows—no juggling, just producing.

Well, I was wrong!

It turns out that Gavin loves to teach and soon I was clumsily throwing and dropping three small beanbags in front of a roomful of amazing performers. There was a woman lying on her side while she nonchalantly spun a hula-hoop around her ankle; a man spinning a heavy red ball up one arm and down the other; and an energetic team of four tossing what seemed like 20 pins to each other in perfect harmony.

What was even cooler was discovering how many of these jugglers were actually scientists! There was a psychologist who studies depression, a mathematician, and a physicist, to name just a few. It seems that juggling tends to draw the kind of crowd that likes to let loose while also mastering an art form that is heavily based in, you guessed it, physics!

Unfortunately for me, physics was never my strong point and this became all too apparent during my juggling lesson with Gavin. Check out this video to see why I’m going to stick to my day job.