It’s one of the most memorable scenes from Finding Nemo. We also love bubbles at Steve Spangler Science. The science of bubbles is as fascinating as bubbles are engaging.
First, start with a good bubble solution. The secrets behind great bubbles are dish soap and glycerin. Just don’t use the antibacterial dish soap. Dawn works the best.
Glycerin is the true secret to the best bubbles because it keeps the bubble hydrated. A bubble will pop in the air because the water evaporates. The glycerin will hold onto that water and extend the life of the bubble. But don’t let it touch your skin. Oil and dirt are the enemies of bubbles.
The best bubble blower is a pipette with the end cut off. Just remember to blow through the pipette and not suck.
Our annual Weather and Science Day reached a new height this year with the launch of a weather balloon during the event. The weather balloon was launched with help from The Edge of Space. During it’s flight, it reached the edge of space at a height of 93,000 feet. That’s higher than Mount Everest and higher than what a military jet can fly (50,000 feet). The balloon drifted northeast and landed hours later near Synder, Colorado.
The underlying lesson was to work with The Edge of Space people who love flying balloons as hobbyists. Their dedication and passion to ballooning was inspiring.
The 4th graders at Willow Creek Elementary and their amazing teacher, Lisa Heaton, took a lesson out of the books, literally, and tested their rocket-building skills.
They read Homer Hickam’s book, Rocket Boys. Then they set out on their own to design and build a rocket out of construction paper, tape and clay. That’s it. No engines or explosives helped launch these rockets into the air. They simply used air pressure.
I first learned how to make the PVC Rocket Launcher several years ago while speaking to teachers at Space Camp for Educators in Huntsville, Alabama. This hands-on rocket activity is an extension of the normal space unit that is standard at this grade level across the school district.
Each student was given two launch tries. Some of the rocket designs were great while others just blew up on the launch pad. For those that failed the first attempt, they had to go back to the drawing board to reanalyze their designs, fix the flaws and head back out for the second launch. The success rate for
We can now add Cover Model to the list of accomplishments that Steve Spangler has achieved. He is on the cover of Speaker Magazine this month as The New Mr. Wizard.
Steve has been a member of the National Speaker Association for years and has been a keynote speaker at its conferences.
The article chronicles Steve’s rise to success from performing at church and birthday party events on the weekends with his parents, to doing over 4,500 school assemblies, to toy designer and teacher trainer.
Magic and speaking have always been an important part of Steve’s life and career. Pick up a copy of Speaker Magazine and find out how he turned a few videos on a fledgling website called YouTube into a paid gig on their new network.
Another interesting fact about Steve – he knows how to surround himself with talent. Our own Shawn Campbell took the photo for the cover.
Who else but Steve shows up at a television studio and makes a request to hang a 16-pound bowling ball from the ceiling? It’s for science, silly, and a lesson in the Laws of Motion.
9News Anchorman Mark Koebrich helped Steve demonstrate energy and motion. When hung on a rope, the bowling ball becomes a pendulum. The ball swings back and forth. If Steve swings the ball and adds energy by pushing it like a kid on a swing, the ball will swing back farther than where it started.
If Steve asks Mark to stand in front of the swinging ball and lets it go, the ball should return only to its starting point and not go beyond it. This demonstrates that you only get out what you put in.
The key is not to move when the bowling ball comes swinging back at your