From the moment the gates opened at 9:30 AM, there was an air of excitement that ran through Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. The event was billed as the largest hands-on science show ever presented in Colorado… or maybe the country for that matter. In 2009, the Colorado Rockies teamed up with 9News KUSA-TV and Steve Spangler Science to produce the first annual Weather and Science Day, which drew a crowd of 5,400 and earned the Spangler team their first Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Physics Lesson.
Ticket sales to this year’s event were in excess of 10,000, making this a real challenge for the Steve Spangler Science team. “When we originally sat down and starting planning the event with Steve, he challenged us to help him create something more than a sit-and-watch show,” explained Carly Reed, special event coordinator at Steve Spangler Science. “Steve suggested pony rides in the parking lot, but we quickly refocused his creativity to something more doable.” The final decision was ambitious,
I think our photographer, Shawn Campbell, put it best when he described what happened at our Hands-on Science Boot Camp™ in Anaheim last week…
The moment these teachers arrived there was an energy in the room that turned the day into much more than just a day of doing science experiments. Anytime you have that much energy and fun in one room, grab a camera and start shooting! Steve was on fire – both figuratively and literally. There was an obvious connection between the teachers, Steve and his message about finding a genuine passion to teach science. While looking through the hundreds of photos that I took at the Boot Camp, I caught myself smiling – reflecting the expressions on everyone’s face that day. Making science fun is seriously contagious!
Huge thanks to Shawn Campbell for these amazing photos and for everyone who attended the workshop.
Got a call from the producers at MIX 100.3 in Denver for the Dom & Jane Show. These local radio celebrities are always up for something new… and it was my job this morning to come up with a few science experiments that would play well on the radio. What could be better than changing the sound of your voice with the heavy gas – sulfur hexafluoride? I was even able to sneak a balloon of SF6 gas to the traffic reporter. The report on southbound traffic on I-25 never sounded so weird. When we came back from break, it was time to play with some explosive hydrogen gas and a can of Pringles potato chips. In just a few seconds, the studio audience enjoyed a shower of chips. Dom calls it… getting your nerd on… but I like to think of it as another way to share our passion for making science fun.
The news anchors at Fox 4 News in Dallas wanted to see if I could find a few ways to make science fun on their Good Day show. Let’s see… I could show them pictures of my science project from 3rd grade… or discuss freezing point depression… or make it snow and change their voices. I’ll pick door number 3. As you’ll see in the video, we covered the interview counter with erupting Insta-Snow and allowed Tim and Megan to experience the “reverse helium” effect using sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).