The Ping Pong Ball Cannon

With just a bit of standard air pressure, NOT compressed air, you can accelerate a ping pong ball to amazing speeds. Read more

Freezing flowers with liquid nitrogen

Is there a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to freeze some flowers in liquid nitrogen? Probably, but flash freezing flowers and then watching them break like glass is pretty cool.
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How to make an air vortex cannon

Making an Air Cannon is super easy and you probably have everything you need at home or in the garage right now. Learn how it’s done. Read more

Exploding Eggs

Some people color eggs for Easter, I think it’s more fun to fill them with hydrogen gas and see what happens when you bring a flame nearby.
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Rip a pop-can in half with your hands

Ripping a pop can in half with your bare hands is not all that hard if you know a bit of chemistry and a little about how soda cans are fabricated. The key, is the plastic liner that coats the inside of the can. In order to protect the aluminum can from the carbonic acid in sodas, can manufacturers coat the inside of a can with a plastic liner. The liner also protects the inside of beer cans as well.

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The Earthquake Platform

A new exhibit at Imagination Station, the earthquake platform. As part of engineering week I challenge local meteorologist Jay Berschback to build a stable tower on the Earthquake platform exhibit. Using only foam noodles and some cross-bracing he must construct a stable tower at least 5 stories tall. Find out if he can meet the challenge. Read more

What makes safety glass, Safe?

Learn about the various kinds of glass that material scientists use to create a safe automobile environment. Read more

Liquid Nitrogen in a two liter bottle

Liquid nitrogen expands in volume about 8oo times as it changes from a liquid to a gas. What would happen if you tried to contain all that gas inside a 2 liter bottle? Find out.

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Burning Cheese puffs, Hot food science

Food calories are a measure of how much energy is contained in the food item. A very graphic way to visualize how much energy is in a handful of food is to burn it and observer the flame. We try this with a handful of cheesepuffs and Total cereal. Read more

What is Oobleck?

Oobleck is a suspension of cornstarch and water that can behave like a solid or a liquid depending on how much pressure you apply. Try to grab some in your hand and it will form a solid ball in your palm just until you release the pressure, then it will flow out between your fingers. Materials that behave this way are classified as non-Newtonian liquids because their flow properties are not described by a constant viscosity. The name Oobleck comes from the 1949 children’s book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, by Dr. Seuss. In the story a sticky liquid falls from the sky as a result of the king becoming bored with normal weather.
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