Friday May 3, 2019 – “The Star Wars Show”

Episode 1.5 “Astrochemistry, Accelerators & Apocalyptic Party Planning”
Our May 3 show is a “Star Wars” themed, all-female line-up, in honour of all the awesome women of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math).
Each “nite” features three 15 minute “TED Talks” on subjects across all branches of science, in language anyone can understand. We do it in a fun, bar environment with beer and as much comedy as our Nerds can deliver, which makes this a 19+ event (sorry “nearly nerd-nite” teens we’ll see you soon). Be ready for an interactive question & answer period, social media competitions and prizes! Meet other nerds & the speakers during breaks.
Think & Drink with us while our Astrophysicist answers your gravitational lensing questions, when we talk “Black Hole” Mania! It’s our last show before we break for summer so come as your favourite Star Wars character or favourite scientist and may the force be with you! Bring your best game because there will be trivia and nerdy prizes. Win tickets to other local Nerd Nites, Story Collider and all kinds of nerdy events.

“Apocalyptic Party Planning” 
Geophysicist & Disaster Researcher, Mika McKinnon
Apocalyptic skills are a must for a modern Nerd, any gamer or zombie movie fan will tell you that.  Who better to teach us the basics than an actual disaster researcher and science fiction writer, specializing in tsunami, earthquakes and asteroid impacts — pretty much all the heart-pounding, doom-riddled science. 

Mika received her BA in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2005, attending the College of Creative Studies. There, she re-launched the Society of Physics Students and lead a student colloquia on science fiction, creating an environment for an exchange of views. She received her MSc in Geophysics from UBC in 2010 where her graduate work centered on assessing and managing risk of landslides using statistical models.

Mika is a field geophysicist and science communicator with joint appointments at SETI and FEMA. She is currently a co-investigator with NASA’s Project ESPRESSO, lending her expertise towards the project’s goal of characterizing extraterrestrial target surfaces – asteroids, comets and moons. Mika has produced the largest published collection of data on landslides in space! 

Mika is also a United Nations Delegate for Hazard and Risk Reduction, and a science adviser to TV shows like Doomsday, No Tomorrow, Madame Secretary, Star Trek: Discovery and Stargate, where she adds science to their fiction.  She has been a contributing editor for Gawker Media and a science writer for Gizmodo. Like all Nerds, Mika is irrepressibly curious about our wonderfully weird universe and loves the outdoors.

“From Atom to Alien – The Universe As A Chemistry Lab”
Astronomer & Nerd Nite Victoria Host, Dr. Nienke Van Der Marel

We are all made of star-stuff! Everything on Earth consists of molecules built out of atoms, but what is the origin of these elements in the Universe? What molecules can we find in the regions where stars and planets are forming? How is it possible that molecules can form in those extreme environments of cold and emptiness? And how can we even observe those molecules? In this talk, Nienke will takes us on a tour through the most exotic chemistry lab ever…The Universe.

Nienke was born and raised in The Netherlands where she got her PhD cum laude in Astronomy at Leiden University in 2015, followed by a two-year fellowship at The University of Hawaii in Honolulu. In November 2017, she moved to Victoria for a fellowship at the NRC Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics. She is the Host of Nerd Nite Victoria (shows are the third Wednesday of every month at the Victoria Event Centre). 

Nienke loves to travel and has some pretty mad latin/african dance skills! You may remember Nienke from her appearance at the January show for our thought experiment “What is a Nerd?”

“Searching for New Particles at CERN”
Project ATLAS Researcher and PhD Physics Student (UBC/TRIUMF), Robin Hayes
Buried beneath the border of France and Switzerland, nearly 100 metres underground, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the largest and most powerful particle accelerator on the planet. The LHC collides particles at 99.999999% of the speed of light, recreating conditions that existed shortly after the Big Bang. In this talk, you’ll hear about how scientists study such intense conditions, and about some of the mind-blowing discoveries they’ve already made. Protons at the LHC collide about 800 million times every second! All the data from these collisions would fill enough CD-ROMs to stretch from the earth to the moon four times over the course of a single year. Don’t miss this rare access to all things CERN (European Council for Nuclear Research).
Robin is a PhD student in Physics at UBC and TRIUMF. She works on the ATLAS experiment, studying data collected at the LHC near Geneva. When she’s not doing physics stuff, she enjoys cycling to school at 0.000002% of the speed of light and working hard to perfect her baba ghanoush recipe.

With over 80 locations worldwide, Nerd Nite is taking over! We’re an all-volunteer community outreach devoted to Science Communication for adults who yearn to learn more about the amazing discoveries being made in science every day.

We’ll play “What Are You Nerding Out On?” North Van style and have our Twitter Competitions where you can win tickets to Nerd Nites North Van, NN Vancouver & NN Victoria and of course our Nerd Nite tool cards and bookmarks.

We’ll be back this fall with some amazing line-ups and of course more unicorn science, so follow our social media over the summer and stay tuned for shows on radon, astroNOTs, genetics, metallurgy, cosmology and tons of other cool topics. If there’s a talk you’d like us to have, send us an email and we’ll make it happen! 

Buy Tickets


Location: Eagles Club Event Room

170 West 3rd Street at Chesterfield (just east of 7-11). Fully licensed bar. No minors.

3 blocks from Lonsdale Quay, straight up Chesterfield.


Transit: We’re just 3 blocks from the seabus so don’t learn and drive.


Social Media:


Facebook: Nerd Nite North Vancouver

Instagram: @NerdNiteNorthVan

Twitter: @NerdNiteNV



Doors open at 6:30pm. Show at 7:00pm.

Must be 19yrs or older, no minors.

You can bring food to this event!

Just 3 blocks from Lonsdale Quay, straight up Chesterfield.

Leave a Reply