NERD NITE DAY 2024: Nerd Nite Orlando’s 11th birthday party

Join Nerd Nite Orlando on Thursday, March 14th for NERD NITE DAY 2024 at the Orlando Science Center** and celebrate 11 years of “the most fun public speaking event in town”. Click here to purchase your tickets.

Hosted by Ricardo Williams

Each speaker will be giving a 10-minute presentation.

Guest speakers include: 
Emilee Speck
Rachel Cooper
Eliza Harris Juliano
Sharife Gacel
Anna V. Eskamani
Jim Hobart
Joshua “TechDev” Walker
Max Jackson

Orlando Science Center
777 E Princeton St,
Orlando, FL 32803
**The event will take place in the Digital Adventure Theater.

7pm-9:30pm
Doors open 6:30pm

$10 pre-sale
$15 at door

Contributing Sponsors: Sampaguita Ice Cream, Romay Ethiopian Kitchen

Sponsorships available, contact

PRESENTATION #1: “Road Trippin’ to Totality” by Emilee Speck

Emilee Speck is a space journalist and FOX Weather digital producer based in Florida. Emilee’s reporting has included covering historic milestones in spaceflight such as the return to human spaceflight from U.S. soil in 2020, the Artemis I launch to the Moon and driving across the country documenting the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse. She previously hosted the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning podcast Space Curious.

PRESENTATION #2: “Busting Myths About Booze” by Rachel Cooper

What you think you know about your favorite beverage might not be true. Here’s what decades of research on alcohol tell us about how alcohol actually impacts us.

Rachel is currently a PhD student at UCF, studying clinical psychology. Her research focuses broadly on sexual violence and more specifically on sexual aggression, sexual communication, such as consent and rejection, and the role substance use plays in perpetration and victimization. She is also interested in the unique experiences of LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence as well as the development of intervention and prevention programs for sexual violence among both heterosexual and LGBTQ+ communities. When Rachel is not drowning in grad school work she loves doing any craft project she can get her hands on, checking out all the amazing restaurants and bars in Orlando, reading psychological thrillers and Buddhist philosophy (she was a double psychology and religion major in undergrad).

PRESENTATION #3: Eliza Harris Juliano – TBA

PRESENTATION #4: “Cosmic Conversations:  The Overview Effect as an Analog Astronaut” by Sharife Gacel

Sharife Gacel, MS, LMHC, LPC, QS is an Analog Astronaut, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, and Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a passion for sharing space with others. She served as the Medical Officer at the HI-SEAS habitat in Hawaii as part of the “Lokahi” mission and her ongoing research is, “The Impact of Crew Isolation and Lunar Simulation on Human Behavior.” You can learn more about Sharife and her work on her website, www.thespacetherapist.com

PRESENTATION #5: Anna V. Eskamani – TBA

PRESENTATION #6: “Lights, Camera, Legacy: A Guide to Preserving Family Stories + Why It’s so Important” by Jim Hobart

This talk will focus on the technical considerations and sentimental value of creating a personal documentary of your loved ones, crafting your own treasured and irreplaceable keepsake that can be cherished for generations. Jim Hobart, the founder of Legacy Life Project, will share his passion for this meaningful undertaking and guide you through the professional process he uses to develop high-quality biographies. You’ll also learn about the importance of selecting the right interviewer to capture your loved ones’ unique stories and experiences, so you can get started on your own video documentary today.

Jim Hobart is a creative Orlando business owner with a passion for videography, stories, and a deep love for dogs. Jim came to realize the profound value of his own recordings of his loved ones after losing his father, and decided to focus his talent and experience on creating high-quality biographical documentaries through the Legacy Life Project. These video heirlooms capture the unique narratives and legacies of the everyday people who mean the world to us, preserving family histories for generations to come.

PRESENTATION #7: Amazon Web Services Explained Through Politics and $hi++y Pop Culture 2024 by Joshua “TechDev” Walker

Josh returns to Nerd Nite, ready to demystify the elusive Amazon Premiere Platform! Buckle up for another bipartisan laugh riot as he blends “shitty pop culture” and “shitty politics” (his words, not mine!) to tackle this technical beast. This talk promises to be an update to his last raved-about presentation, but instead of Steve Urkel, get ready for a wild ride through AWS, all while potentially ruffling some feathers (but hey, at least it’ll be bipartisan fun!). So join Josh as he connects the dots between the familiar and the unknown, making AWS accessible and maybe even raising some awareness along the way!

Joshua “TechDev” Walker is an Army Vet turned self-taught Cloud Solutions Architect, Diversity Pioneer, and Author of “Venti Fried Chicken”. 

Joshua has been featured on Deloitte’s “Uncensored” series, and Deloitte’s “On Cloud Podcast ” and has frequently been covered by the Orlando Business Journal for his work in Diversity, Equity, and, Inclusion as one of the Black Orlando Tech founders. 

Joshua continues to serve his clients and community to make the maximum impact through cloud delivery, online tech education, and in-person tech talks. His mantra is to train, inspire, and relate. #cloudGang

PRESENTATION #8: Max Jackson – TBA

Nerd Nite Orlando S11E06

Nerd Nite RETURNS to the legendary Stardust Video & Coffee on Thurs, Feb 8th at 7pm with new speakers and new presentations. Be there & be square.

Hosted by Ricardo Williams

Guest speakers:
Waldo Grunenwald
Victor Hurlburt

After multiple wins, Nerd Nite veteran Ed Petersen returns to ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night. We will kick off Nerd Nite with a watch party and cheer on Ed while he competes in the Jeopardy Champions Wildcard!

PRESENTATION #1:
“Little Known Facts About Machu Picchu” by Victor Hurlburt

This is neither a travelogue, nor a boring vacation slide show, nor does it provide answers to probing questions like “how’d they do that?” Instead, the focus of this presentation is
to share information about numerous interesting features to be aware of at the same time you are being overwhelmed by the grandeur, mystery, and mystique of the amazingly fascinating Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. Pay attention – don’t miss seeing (not just looking but seeing) features no matter how small. The experience of visiting one of the seven wonders of the world is certainly awe inspiring just on its own, but there are also interesting features hidden in plain sight that can easily be overlooked.

Victor is a semi-retired environmental engineer with over 54 years of experience in water and wastewater conveyance and treatment projects in the US and Puerto Rico. He has been summoned to Nerd Nite to explore Machu Picchu and admits that there’s an engineering skew to the subject matter, but there are also historical facts thrown in along with pop culture information as well.

PRESENTATION #2:
“Argue Better with Active Listening” by Waldo Grunenwald

Have you ever gotten into an argument because the statement that you made wasn’t understood as you meant it? Have you ever seen a simple disagreement go rapidly off the rails, and turn into a shouting match?

Rather than quipping at one-another (like UDP), there is a technique for resolving disputes or conflicts that is more akin to TCP. It is called “Active Listening”.

In this talk, I’ll show you how this technique reduces the likelihood of a shouting match by drastically slowing the escalation and forcing each side to listen & comprehend what the other person is trying to say.

Waldo is a geek, and if you find him odd, there are plenty of things you could blame that on.  He’s a long-time Sys/Ops Engineer, enjoys leading teams, and is active in the DevOps community.  He may or may not be Batman.  He is pretty keen on helping orgs stop hurting themselves, insight tooling (trending / monitoring / alerting), and automation in general.  He takes joy in helping teams and orgs to stop hurting themselves.  Despite being a raging introvert, he enjoys public speaking.  In his spare time, he enjoys collecting hobbies that he doesn’t have the time to engage in.  He hates writing about himself in the third person, and aspires to one day be a better bio writer.

Space Nite 2024

Join us Thurs, Jan. 11th for a special edition of Nerd Nite…. 
SPACE NITE 2024** 

Presentations will be themed completely around astronomy and we will have a telescope on site for some stargazing. 

GUEST SPEAKERS include:
Sharife Gacel 
Sean Greeney
Derek Demeter

Hosted by Ricardo Williams

*NEW LOCATION*
Thursday, January 11, 7-9pm (Doors at 6:30p)
816 West Church Street,
Orlando, FL 32805

PARKING: There is a lot directly in front of the building.

Sharife Gacel, MS, LMHC, LPC, QS is an Analog Astronaut, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, and Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a passion for sharing space with others. She served as the Medical Officer at the HI-SEAS habitat in Hawaii as part of the “Lokahi” mission and her ongoing research is, “The Impact of Crew Isolation and Lunar Simulation on Human Behavior.” You can learn more about Sharife and her work on her website, www.thespacetherapist.com

Sean Greeney is from MN, helped establish the cooling rate of the Sun. Sean works with meteorites and is an astrogeologist. He also used to play hockey. I

Derek Demeter is the director of the Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College in Sanford, Florida. Derek also enjoys promoting science beyond the planetarium with his work as an astrophotographer, which earned him pictures seen in NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day website, Universe Today, Astronomy Magazine, and Sky and Telescope.

Nerd Nite Orlando S11E04

Nerd Nite Orlando returns to the legendary Stardust Video & Coffee on Thursday, December 14th at 7pm. Nerd Nite is free and all are welcome.

Hosted by Ricardo Williams

Guest Speakers:

Adrienne H. Lee

Marissa Germain

JD Casto

PRESENTATION #1: “#ArtHistoryTrending: Foodie Pics & Dutch Baroque Still Life Paintings” by Adrienne H. Lee

Adrienne H. Lee, also known as The Wandering Art Historian, spends most of her time researching, studying, and talking to people about art.  She gives lectures, teaches classes, hosts book club discussions, runs a blog and a YouTube channel devoted to the celebration of art in all forms. Adrienne has lived in the Central Florida region for twenty years and works diligently to draw attention to the rich creative output of the area’s artists and art institutions.

PRESENTATION #2: “Tiny Victories: Why Little Decisions Matter” by Marissa Germain

After many adventures to help make the world a better place, Marissa Germain is always finding ways to have a positive impact on her community. The founder of the Feel Good Living Guide, she celebrates small businesses and nonprofits as they make their mark on their communities. 

PRESENTATION #3: “Sex Work is Work: Christian Nationalist’s Fight Against Porn” by JD Casto

J.D. Casto is an Orlando-based photographer that specializes in capturing Queer Joy. First published at only 13, J.D.’s photography has been seen worldwide. With an award-winning film and photography career that spans nearly two decades, there’s not much that J.D. hasn’t done. As a multi-passionate creative, J.D. has most recently worked in the video game industry, helping produce the NBA, WWE, and PGA video games at 2K Go. In his off time, J.D. writes for the Watermark Magazine, photographs concerts for Orlando Weekly, and mentors the next generation of Central Florida writers, filmmakers, and photographers.

Nerd Nite Trivia @ Science Night Live

Nerd Nite Orlando will return Saturday, October 21st 8pm for this special edition of Science Night Live with some spooky themed trivia. Costumes encouraged!

Science Night Live at Orlando Science Center is your chance to spark your curiosity through fun exhibits and programs…with some adult beverages, of course! Bring your friends, or make it a date night, and join us for a unique and ever-changing experience that proves there’s no age limit on curiosity! Must be 21 years or older to attend.

TRIVIA CATEGORIES

8:15 Who’s Afraid of This?

9:15 Totally Real Vampires and Zombies of Nature

10:00 Candy Corn and Other Terrifying Things that We Eat

10:45 Predicting the Future

Admission to Science Night Live is FREE for Orlando Science Center Members* and $19 for the general public and must be purchased online at https://www.osc.org/visit/events/science-night-live/

Tickets will NOT be available at the door.

*Members must reserve their tickets online in advance.

Admission to Science Night Live includes access to the entire venue; including guest speakers, programs, workshops, and all the exhibits. 

Nerd Nite Orlando s11e03

Nerd Nite Orlando returns to the legendary Stardust Video & Coffee on Thursday, November 9th at 7pm. Nerd Nite is free and all are welcome.

Hosted by Ricardo Williams

Guest speakers:

Ryan Moyer

Karolyn Campbell 

Steven Madow

PRESENTATION #1: “Harnessing Habits: Taking the Choice Out of Change” by Ryan Moyer

Ryan is passionate about all things human behavior. He earned his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Florida Atlantic University where his research in social psychology focused on self & identity, psychological distance, as well as superstition & magical thinking. After spending several years teaching psychology & statistics courses, Ryan transitioned into the analytics industry, using data to answer business questions in marketing & human resources for multiple Fortune 500 companies. He currently teaches psychology at Full Sail University in Orlando, FL where he regularly lectures on topics such as positive psychology, stress, motivation, habit formation, goal pursuit, creativity, and time management. Outside of academia, Ryan serves as a life coach, helping others feel more happy, connected, and effective in their everyday lives. He is also the host of Why Do We Do That?, a psychology podcast featuring interviews with experts in human behavior.

PRESENTATION #2: “Size Matters!” by Supervisor Karolyn C. Campbell

It seems like it’s human nature to compare. Mine’s bigger than yours. Oh wait, is yours bigger than mine? Though my mind is always in the gutter too, this time, I’m talking about limits. In this talk we will explore limits. My limits aren’t yours. You see, size does matter!

Supervisor Karolyn C. Campbell, Chair of Orange Soil and Water Conservation District, is the first blind elected official in Florida. She is a Sustainment Engineer working for the Navy. A passionate servant leader, she has an MBA, an MS in System Engineering, and loves learning. In addition to her federal and elected positions, she also works part-time at Walt Disney World and leads several boards and committees. Her focus is government legislation, science and engineering, and environmental education and protection. An immigrant, U.S. Citizen, and minority woman, she is a speaker, mentor, and champion for visible and invisible disabilities, rights for women, veterans, LGBTQ+A, and marginalized communities. She promotes accessibility, diversity, careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). With her activism and leadership, she is the National Federation of the Blind’s Member of the Year. She is a change agent, seeking creative solutions.

PRESENTATION #3: “It Never Hurts to Ask: How I Got To Put My Cameras in the Flame Trench of Launching Rockets” by Steven Madow

Steven Madow (@stevenmadow) is an Orlando-based photographer specializing in spaceflight photography with intense focus on bringing images from conception to lift-off. By blending the genres of fine art landscape with rocket launches, Steven offers a truly unique artistic perspective.

Nerd Nite Orlando s11e02

Nerd Nite Orlando returns to the legendary Stardust Video & Coffee on Thursday, October 12th at 7pm. Nerd Nite is free and all are welcome.

Before the presentations we will be hosting trivia and giving away a special prize. Make sure to arrive on time!

PRESENTATION #1: 

“The Cost of War: The Death of Fandoms & Writer’s Rooms” J.D. Casto

A critical analysis of the streaming model of TV/Movies where I will examine how Streamers have slowly killed Fandoms and traditional Writer’s Rooms and how this has all come to a head during the current WGA and SAG strikes. 

J.D. Casto is an Orlando-based photographer that specializes in capturing Queer Joy. First published at only 13, J.D.’s photography has been seen worldwide. With an award-winning film and photography career that spans nearly two decades, there’s not much that J.D. hasn’t done. As a multi-passionate creative, J.D. has most recently worked in the video game industry, helping produce the NBA, WWE, and PGA video games at 2K Go. In his off time, J.D. writes for the Watermark Magazine, photographs concerts for Orlando Weekly, and mentors the next generation of Central Florida writers, filmmakers, and photographers.

PRESENTATION #2: 

“An Insiders Guide to Responsible Giving” by Julie Holt

Giving season is just around the corner and soon every nonprofit will be asking for some sort of donation. You want to give but the question you are now presented with is how to make sure your hard earned dollars does the most good. Good thing for you is that transparency is a main pillar of any good nonprofit management. Hear an insider’s guide how you can evaluate your favorite nonprofits just like a professional to make sure your dollar does the most amount of good!

Julie Holt is certified to change the world! Her two passions in life are social good and storytelling with data. She has a BS in Nonprofit Management from the University of South Carolina Upstate and an MBA from Crummer School of Business. She is a Certified Nonprofit Professional having served on multiple boards nationally and in the Central Florida area. Currently she is the Vice President of Florida Destination Imagination, a STEAM challenge based learning competition. Her day job includes playing data at Disney Publishing. When she’s not out and about volunteering, you can find her either at any of the theme parks or at the library!

PRESENTATION #3:

Skateboarding and the Silent Spaces of Capitalism” by Zach Moldof

Skateboarding is readily accepted as a sport, and its inclusion in the Olympics has amplified narratives that explain skateboarding as a sport. Skateboarding is also commonly regarded as an evolution of surfing, with distinct origins in California. But what if I told you that skateboarding’s history in Florida suggests a wholly other way of thinking and talking about skateboarding–one that draws parallels to dance and other art forms that took hold in hip hop culture? In my talk for Nerd Nite I’ll explain how skateboarding as we know it today starts in Florida, and I’ll provide examples that illustrate why the tools for discussing art–especially breakdancing and graffiti–yield more complete descriptions of skateboarding than the tools for discussing sport.

Zach Moldof is the executive director of Skate Bud 501c3: a nonprofit that increases skateboard accessibility for all people while prioritizing disenfranchised communities. He earned a BA in Liberal Studies at UCF, and an MA in Performance Studies at NYU. He is the author of the world’s first cannabis column for a national news outlet, the author of two books about skateboarding, a web developer, and a lifetime skater. Zach works with Florida DoS Division of Arts and Culture as an expert on skate culture and architecture, and he works with municipalities to design skateparks and repeal skateboard prohibition. He is married to Tiffany Moldof and they are always doing their best to be intentional parents for their 4 year old son Luchien.

Nerd Nite Orlando – Season 11 Premiere!

Nerd Nite Orlando returns to the legendary Stardust Video & Coffee on Thursday, September 14th, 7pm for the premiere event of season 11.

Nerd Nite is free and all are welcome.

PRESENTATION 1:
“Why You Should Care About the Calories in Your Poop: Food, Gut Microbes, and Bioenergetics” by Karen Corbin

Dr. Karen Corbin is the Founder and Chief Geek of Geeks That Speak® and a clinical-translational scientist at the AdventHealth Translational Research Institute.

As a scientific storyteller, Dr. Corbin uses her skills to fill a fundamental gap for translating ideas into solutions: the inability of some scientists and other “geeks” to deliver information in a way that is impactful, relevant and inspires action. To achieve this, she created Geeks That Speak® with a mission to inspire and empower scientists to become powerful storytellers.

In her role as a scientist, her expertise is in human nutrition and metabolism. Her scientific career is devoted to understanding the mechanisms that drive metabolic diseases like fatty liver disease and obesity. One particular area of focus is understanding how to optimize the human gut microbiome to prevent and treat disease.

PRESENTATION 2:
“More than a Feeling: The Neuroscience of Hanger” by Matt Luby

Matt Luby is a board member for the hackerspace FamiLAB in Longwood. His passions include neuroscience, distance running, and political activism.

PRESENTATION 3:
“Putting Myself in Jeopardy!” By Ed Petersen

Ed Petersen is a lifelong Orlando resident and trivia enthusiast. He attributes his love for knowledge to his family, who early on reinforced the importance of learning via repeated trips to libraries, science centers, theaters, and museums here and around the world. In this, his fifth Nerd Nite talk, come learn how Ed achieved his long-running dream of getting on Jeopardy!

Nerd Nite Trivia S11E00 @ Science Night Live

Nerd Nite Orlando will be joining Science Night Live on Saturday, August 26th to host a special edition of Science Trivia. 

Science Night Live at Orlando Science Center is your chance to spark your curiosity through fun exhibits and programs…with some adult beverages, of course! Bring your friends, or make it a date night, and join us for a unique and ever-changing experience that proves there’s no age limit on curiosity! Must be 21 years or older to attend.

Trivia Categories:
* Florida Cities
* Barbenheimer
* Sky Rockets in Flight
* Potent Potables

Admission to Science Night Live is FREE for Orlando Science Center Members* and $19 for the general public and must be purchased online at https://www.osc.org/visit/events/science-night-live/

Tickets will NOT be available at the door.

*Members must reserve their tickets online in advance.

Admission to Science Night Live includes access to the entire venue; including guest speakers, programs, workshops, and all the exhibits. 

DaJen Eats, Hard Rock Cafe, and Phat Ash Bakes will have light bites and adult beverages available for purchase. Sip beer, wine or cocktails and enjoy small-plate edibles while you listen to music and get your geek on. We recommend purchasing with cash to reduce wait time and lines.

Nerd Nite Orlando: Season 10 Finale

Nerd Nite Orlando returns to the legendary Stardust Video & Coffee on 7pm, Thurs, May 11th for the finale of our 10th season.

Sponsored by Sampaguita Ice Cream

Hosted by Ricardo Williams

Guest speakers: Hugo Castellanos, Jim Hobart, & Jonathan Pamplin

PRESENTATION #1:

“ADHD AMA: My Journey as a Newly Diagnosed Adult” by Jonathan Pamplin

After a lifetime of struggles with time management and focus, I was recently diagnosed with ADHD – at the age of 32! This left me with a ton of questions: What really is ADHD? Does it look different in children than adults? How do ADHD medications work? In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, join me on my in-progress journey to understand what makes the ADHD brain tick.

Jonathan Pamplin has variously worked as an assembly worker, writing consultant, freelance editor, roadside sign spinner, blueprint evaluator, substitute teacher, paranormal tour guide, and a special ed teacher’s aide. Unsurprisingly, he has ADHD. 

PRESENTATION #2:

“Lights, Camera, Family: A Guide to Crafting Your Own Family Documentary, and Why It’s Essential” by Jim Hobart

This talk will focus on the technical considerations and sentimental value of creating a personal documentary of your loved ones, crafting your own treasured and irreplaceable keepsake that can be cherished for generations. Jim Hobart, the founder of Legacy Life Project, will share his passion for this meaningful undertaking and guide you through the professional process he uses to develop high-quality biographies. You’ll also learn about the importance of selecting the right interviewer to capture your loved ones’ unique stories and experiences, so you can get started on your own video documentary today.

Jim Hobart is a creative Orlando business owner with a passion for videography, stories, and a deep love for dogs. Jim came to realize the profound value of his own recordings of his loved ones after losing his father, and decided to focus his talent and experience on creating high-quality biographical documentaries through the Legacy Life Project. These video heirlooms capture the unique narratives and legacies of the everyday people who mean the world to us, preserving family histories for generations to come.

PRESENTATION #3:

“Stamped and Approved: The history of passports and visas” by Hugo Castellanos

Hugo is a Venezuelan-American engineer, podcaster and professional speaker that combines his engineering background and storytelling skills to educate, entertain and ultimately inform audiences in a wide variety of career development topics.

Hugo’s career trajectory includes cofounding an EdTech Startup, and serving as a Competitive Intelligence Manager for companies like Intel and LinkedIn.