On the 31st of July, Cool Science was at the Manitou Library Lawn Concert where kids played with “goofy ears.” These are headphones with pop tubes and funnels that let the user alter his or her hearing. The kids also got to pretend they were dragons by combining breakfast cereal with liquid nitrogen. Cool, right? Or…cool science!
Since liquid nitrogen is so cold (-320°F), it chills cereal instantly, and because the food is mostly air and sugar, it’s safe for the kids to pop the now-super-chilled treat right into their mouths. Then as they exhale the cold cereal condenses the water vapor in the air, creating an impressive fog that looks like a dragon blowing out smoke.
Once done with the cereal, the kids put on the headphones, where they learned the benefits of having two ears. Sound waves reach each of our two ears independently, which is how our brain locates a sound source in three dimensional space. By moving the pop tubes and funnels, you can trick your brain into thinking someone speaking to you on your left side seems to be talking on your right.
Both of these activities gave the kids something fun and engaging to do while their parents enjoyed the music at the concert.
-posted by Joshua
If you've noticed that we're finally beginning to post news articles, there's a reason, and his name is Joshua Dearborn. Josh joined Cool Science in May as our new communications and social media intern, and as you can see (he's the big guy- we really need to get a better photo) he's also been getting his hands pretty "dirty" learning about our hands-on science programs we do by pitching in himself to help young students make ice cream and learn about science.
Josh just graduated from UCCS with a BA in English (Rhetoric) but would eventually like to become a science journalist, so this is an ideal opportunity for him. He'll be writing more blog articles and newsletters, as well as posting on all our social media channels. We certainly think he's a perfect fit for us!
If you have a question for Josh, or just want to say hello to welcome him, leave a comment below.
-posted by Marc
On July 17th, Cool Science did a builders’ workshop for pre-teens. The kids had the chance to make balloon hovercrafts and learn about the engineering behind large-scale hovercrafts with their own smaller models. They also made marshmallow catapults, where they discovered the physics behind the ancient military weapon.
The hovercrafts were built from a single balloon, one CD, glue, and a PVC pipe. Tiny holes are poked in the tape covering the opening in the middle of the CD, and the PVC pipe attaches the balloon to the top of the CD so air slowly escapes out the bottom. This provides the CD with the ability to “glide” over flat surfaces.
The catapults are made from a wooden piece of 2x4, a couple wooden dowels, rubber bands, a paint stick, and of course a paper cup to hold the marshmallow ammunition. Not only were they fun to build, everyone had a blast playing with them. (Check out a video from our YouTube channel below)
It was an epic showdown as the kids and adults launched marshmallows and piloted their hovercrafts in races!
-posted by Joshua