Mythbuster, Thomas Dolby, and others talk innovation at DMACC West


Mythbuster Kari Byron speaks during ciWeek at West Campus Wednesday, March 2.

CiWeek is produced by and hosted at DMACC West campus, consisting of 13 keynote sessions and other featured presentations.

This event is centered on changing the perspective on thinking and finding innovative ways to achieve a goal.

According to the website, “ciWeek provides students and Central Iowans an opportunity to engage with people (some famous, all inspired) who have dreamed, created and accomplished.”

Keynote: Scott Siepker

On Wednesday morning, Scott Siepker took the stage and immediately had the 150+ attendees laughing. His presentation centered on his acting career and how to get “Something From Nothing.”

“You have to surround yourself with talented people and ask for help,” Siepker said.

He explained that, “When you continue to dream big you will continue to have a ton of options comes up.”

Known as “The Iowa Nice Guy,” Siepker continues to grow in his career by being a TV personality for WHO TV.

“Life is about the journey not the destination, the secret to dreaming big is that it’s not about achieving that dream, but aiming higher,” Siepker said.
Keynote speaker: Kari Byron

As an art major, Kari Byron made her way to co-hosting the Discover Channel’s flagship show, “MythBusters.”

She has gone on to host and produce other similar science based shows, and soon host the White House Science Fair and be a proponent for STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) education. Byron thinks of herself first as an artist who has moved to science.

“Art and science basically have the same momentum: you start with a question, and you investigate the possibilities. I think that if you teach art in conjunction with science and mathematics, people will be able to connect the dots in different ways,” Byron said.

On MythBusters, she is the only female and it comes down to a couple strategies to keep girls into science.

“If you have a supportive family – a father that is into science it helps tremendously – you can find other girls that are into these sciences. You can reach out to them on the Internet and find that support that keeps you going,” Byron said.

Keynote: Thomas Dolby

On Thursday, March 3, DMACC West Campus had a speaker who many would say “blinded them with science.”

Thomas Dolby, an innovator and musical artist, gave a futuristic presentation and preformed a small concert in order to enlighten the audience of his work.

“I was working in Paris as a bus boy. I would take my guitar to the metro subway station, sit on my backside and play Bob Dylan songs to Japanese tourists. This fed my music habit – my very expensive electronic music habit,” Dolby said.

Dolby is famous for changing the way music is developed by using advanced technologies to create unique, innovated sounds.

For example, Dolby used a machine to help create innovated sounds called a “Mellotron,” which is famously used by the Beatles and in many of their songs such as “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

“I was a kid in a candy store when I found my first Mellotron,” Dolby said. “I had this idea when I saw it [Mellotron] that I could create my own music.”

Dolby’s career has been a roller coaster ride, and by working in film and music, he has developed a reputation as being one of the greatest music developers.

His resume ranges from working with David Bowie and preforming with him on stage, to creating Star Trek’s theme song.

He helped many other TV shows and video games with their theme songs such as “Big Bang Theory,” “Grand Theft Auto,” and “Breaking Bad.”

To add to his long list of accomplishments, Dolby, in the fall of 2014, held the position as professor of the arts at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dolby’s major accomplishments could not be achieved without having a dream at the start.

The old cliché saying, “follow your dreams,” is cheesy but it’s the most simple when going through life.

Dolby is still making music and developing scores for movies and TV, and currently working on his first book, “The Speed of Sound.”

The eighth annual ciWeek came to a conclusion last Friday and was a week full of celebrities and inspiring speeches, and the message to celebrate new ideas has been heard.

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