Category Archives: In the News

Lab Ladies: Welcoming Women in Science

Let’s get something straight: I possess a Y-chromosome and am a male.

This single distinguishing factor, splitting our species in two since “a long time ago” was the present, means different things to different people. To the “funny” side of the internet, this means I’m frustratingly clueless. Car insurance agencies view me as more hazardous behind the wheel (until I’m 26). Science views me as a better potential scientist.

And more likely to do this.
And more likely to do this.                              (Source: Wikipedia)

Wait… is that true? It definitely is true for the horse mask, but what about science?

In the last few weeks, news sites have found an inundation of headlines populated with words like “science,” “women,” and “first.” It’s a breath of fresh, feminine air that will hopefully pave the way for even more breakthroughs being credited to women scientists, women-led teams, and more women in science, period.

Take an August 12th, 2014 example of Maryam Mirzakhani winning math’s top prize, a Fields Medal, becoming the award’s first female winner. This is awesome for two reasons: it’s an enormous accomplishment for a woman who has dedicated her life to a field, and for many people (like me), it will have been the first time we’ve heard about the Fields Medal. So now we all know being a mathematician isn’t a thankless job, and we know that girls can math, too.

But, haven’t girls always been able to add, subtract, divide, FOIL, etc. just as well as boys? Of course they have! It isn’t news that girls are just as intelligent as boys, so why is it a big deal when women do things in male dominated fields? There you have it. They are still male dominated fields. There just isn’t enough women in science, yet!

From the first time you choose classes in high school until you become “Doctor,” you’re more likely to find yourself in a Water Buffalo Lodge than a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. (Yay, terrible references!)

They're working on a cure for bad imagery in my blog posts.
They’re working on a cure for bad imagery in my blog posts. (Source: Wikipedia)

From the outside, it’s easy to explain away the lack of ladies in the lab. Perhaps girls are just less interested in science, right? That’s a perfectly reasonable possibility. It doesn’t fit with gender roles, either, if we want to go completely antiquated. What else could it be?

Christie Aschwanden recently wrote a shocking piece for The New York Times revealing just how much of a “boys’ club” science really is, and it’s not a good thing. Harassment is a very real problem within the scientific ranks, especially towards the top of the ladder. So, here at the base of the ladder, the bottom rungs, what are we supposed to do?

As a parent of two little boys, it’s admittedly difficult to teach lessons in gender equality. The notions of inequality are so engrained into culture that they inherit the “man, powerful” mentality just from walking around, turning on Netflix, or going to school. The best that we can do is teach them that every one, regardless of any trait, deserves the same respect.

Not my proudest parenting moment.
Not my proudest parenting moment. (Source: Flickr)

Kudos to LEGO for creating female scientists. It’s awesome what Maryam Mirzakhani was able to accomplish. And did you hear about this 6th grader? Girls, ladies, and women BELONG in science just like anyone and everyone else. Our task, as current scientists, is to lay the groundwork for an accepting atmosphere.  Then it won’t be ”1st Woman Wins Field Medal,” it will be “Miryam Mirzakhani Wins Field Medal.”

541289_10151141696561242_1371670891_nFresh Prince of the Science Fair.
Writer for Steve Spangler Science.
Dad of 2. Expecting 1 more.
Husband. Amateur adventurer.

Expert idiot.

Show Your Teacher Appreciation and Enter to Win a Wish List or Gift Certificate

April 29, 2014 – Updated. 
The contest period has closed. Congrats to our winners –
Kate from Silver Spring, MD won a $50 gift certificate
Susan from Hammond, LA won her Wish List

Teachers come in all shapes and sizes. They engage young minds, serve as mentors and provide endless learning opportunities. Teacher Appreciation Week is May 5 – 9, 2014. It’s the time we give back to those who give so much.

Help Us Show the Love and Win at Steve Spangler Science http://spanglersci.com/Appreciate

Teachers are one of the most important and memorable people in a child’s life. You never forget your 3rd grade teacher. Or your kindergarten teacher…or your 6th grade teacher…you get the point.

Teachers are there day after day to encourage learning and discovery as well as self confidence, discipline and an endless list of character building skills.

We want to help you honor the teacher in your child’s life with two chances to win…

Now that’s appreciation!

When you complete one or both between April 22 and April 27th at midnight MST, you are automatically entered to win. 

Teachers Make a Difference - Show Your Teacher Appreciation at Steve Spangler Science http://www.SpanglerSci.com/Appreciation

One gift certificate and one wish list will be chosen at random. Winners will be notified via email and given 24 hours to respond. If winner does not respond within the time span, another will be chosen. Winners will be formally announced on May 1st on this blog.

How to Create a Wish List

If you are looking for the perfect gift for your teacher,  help them set up a list of the science materials and kits they are hoping to receive.

Creating a Wish List on our website is easy. Create it under your Steve Spangler Science profile or your teacher’s. Print it out and share with the other parents in the class. If you are lucky, you and your teacher will receive the wish list from us.

If you are a teacher, don’t wait for the parents to organize, fill up that wish list and get entered to win.

Teacher Appreciation Wish List Creation at Steve Spangler Science

1. Log in or create an account at SteveSpanglerScience.com

2. Click on over to the Products section window shopping for science kits that catch your fancy. Our favorite places to start are Sick Science! Kits, Spangler Created Kits, and Teacher Gifts.

3. When something catches your eye, click the little heart next to the Buy It Now button and Bam! that item is now in your wish list.

Create Your Teacher Wish List at Steve Spangler Science

4. Add as many items as you want and don’t hold back. The winner will receive their entire wish list (up to $100 value).

Get out there are start appreciating your teachers! If you are also looking for inexpensive ways that kids can honor their teacher without breaking the bank, check out our list of teacher gift ideas.

Coolest Yule Log Video Ever! A New Science Twist on an Old Favorite

YouTube recently challenged our Spangler Effect team to create a new twist on an old favorite – come up with a Yule Log video that breaks the mold of the old, outdated looping fire in the fireplace.

By Far The Coolest Yule Log Video Ever | Steve Spangler Science | The Spangler Effect | #NowCasting #YouTubeFireplace

This is not your mama’s yule log video. It’s by far the coolest science yule log video ever.

Steve and his team came up with different techniques to light and reignite the yule log of the future.

So warm up your holidays by casting this YouTube fireplace from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to your TV using Chromecast. The video loops over and over for about 60 minutes so you can put it on and let it play during your holiday celebrations.

If you enjoy our video, please share it with your friends using hashtags #NowCasting and/or #YouTubeFireplace. And don’t forget to subscribe to The Spangler Effect channel so you don’t miss an episode. 

By Far The Coolest Yule Log Video Ever | Steve Spangler Science | The Spangler Effect | #NowCasting #YouTubeFireplace

 

After watching the video (it loops about every 5 minutes) come back and watch our Making of The Spangler Effect Yule Log. In the video, Steve explains the science behind each of the ‘tricks’ and how they made each one.

Here’s a special Behind the Scenes look at how we put together and filmed the Yule Log video.

Steve Spangler Toilet Papers The Ellen DeGeneres' Studio

In his 15th appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show today, Steve Spangler brought a few of his science tricks to the talk show.

Steve Spangler Toilet Papers The Ellen DeGeneres Studio

Steve made yet another colossal mess on Ellen’s set as he rigged 60 leaf blowers with 60 toilet paper rolls to launch at the same time. When Ellen pushed the button, the studio was instantly swallowed up by flying toilet paper as a demonstration of Bernoulli’s Principle.

Ellen also demonstrated centripetal force by swinging a tub of water over her head.

To watch The Ellen Show in its entirety, check your local listings.