Here at SJCPL we are ramping up for our annual day-long Science Alive program. This year Science Alive will be Saturday February 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at our Main library. For the program local scientists are preparing exhibits and activities to demonstrate for our children the sheer awesomeness of science. We’ll countdown to the big day with a series of programs at our branch locations. Our intention is to encourage children to consider scientific careers and/or introduce them the concepts they’ll need to understand everyday science.
And we need scientists and we need everybody else to understand everyday science. You only need to look at the misunderstandings involving global warming to know this is true.
So I’ve promised you weird science gone wild. Have you seen the YouTube channel Smarter Every Day? Check out the videos here. Each video provides a fun and enlightening discussion of a scientific concept. Here’s one with high speed video explaining the physics of flipping cats. No cats were harmed in the filming of the video, in case you’re wondering. Annoyed, perhaps. Want to learn about the details of hummingbirds in flight? Excellent! The Physics of Slinghots? Great!
The Slow Mo Guys do similar work, although often without the full scientific explanations. They recently pitted Tablets vs. Paintballs, for instance. They’ve featured Popping Popcorn in Slow Motion. Last summer they had sledgehammer week. What happens when you put rubber bands around a melon – many rubber bands? They’ve done it. Did I mention Sledgehammer Week?
If you want to do experiments at home try our book Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste: More Unforgettable Experiments That Make Science Fun by Steve Spangler. (with a responsible adult presiding – yes, this may well eliminate your father from supervising your fun) You might prefer The New How Things Work by David Macaulay or one of our many other books on science experiments. All of his books are classics. They’re available at an SJCPL location nearest to you.
Come to Science Alive on Saturday February 2, but read about science all year around.