Kari Byron, former host of Mythbusters and host of Head Rush, blasted her way into Bainbridge State College on Thursday evening.
Byron surprised guests by appearing during the science experiment demonstrations conducted by BSC Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Eric Dueno and a team of his students. She participated by being Dueno’s assistant for one of his explosion experiments, a very fitting task for Byron who is known for blowing things up on Mythbusters.
At 7 p.m., guests were formerly introduced to Byron by Ben White, a Carter Arts and Lecture Series committee member, as not only a science TV host, but as an artist with big plans for the future of science.
A short video of Mythbuster clips followed. Many of the episodes showcased were the most popular with Byron featured.
She started out by telling the audience she does not believe “luck” had anything to do with her success.
“To look back and see the way it is now, it was a journey to where I am today,” said Byron. “I feel like it wasn’t luck, but an opportunity was there and I worked hard.”
Two weeks into Byron’s internship on the show and she was asked to be a host.
She was asked about her typical day, which she claimed there were never any typical days on the set of Mythbusters.
“There weren’t any typical days and that’s why I love this job so much,” she said. “The cool thing about the show is that it wasn’t cast. The cast came from special effects, which required us all to work quickly and make things you don’t mind ruining. With our skills combined, it made an awesome product.”
Recently, Byron was asked to visit the White House for the White House Science Fair. It was there she talked about the importance of engaging children, specifically girls, in the field of science.
She said, “There are ways to get girls involved with science and I have found that it revolves around a strong mentor or parent and finding how science can help the community.”
Byron told the story of a girl who was on her way to the White House Science Fair. The young girl sat beside two boys and a flight attendant gave them all “wings.” As the flight attendant gave out the wings, she told the boys they would make excellent pilots someday, but told the girl she could be a flight attendant.
“There needs to be more emphasis with women. They are underrepresented in all fields, especially science. Women with higher levels of education tend to be more successful. It’s about changing the world view, not the girls,” said Byron.
According to her, girls begin losing interest in science when it gets tough to be a girl, usually in pre-teen years when self-esteem becomes an issue.
Byron was not always so interested in science, but found a way to incorporate it into her love of art. It was not until Mythbusters that she began enjoying science and relating it to art.
She said, “When I was a kid I didn’t like science. It was more book learning for me, but science is just like art. It’s so much fun.”
Byron concluded by encouraging the young people in the audience to strive for their passions, but do not rely on luck.
She said, “Luck is something you get in retrospect. The harder you work, the luckier you get.”
Following the lecture, Byron autographed photos and took “selfies” with the guests in the Kirbo Center lobby.