Category Archives: Special Science Event

Astronaut Beaker Launched Into Space on a Weather Balloon

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

During Weather and Science Day, we launched a weather balloon to the edge of space. The balloon didn’t need a pilot, but we thought a scientist onboard would help bring some perspective and a first hand account of what it was like to soar 93,000 feet above the earth.

Beaker was the muppet for the job. His prep team from The Edge of Space, 9News and Steve Spangler Science helped secure him about 15 feet below the actual weather balloon. He brought along a few flags – one signed by the 9News Weather team and Steve Spangler.

The balloon was launched around 11:00 a.m.

The delicate weather balloon was 1200 grams and filled with 230 feet of helium. When it reached the edge of space, the balloon was the size of a school bus. It also carried a parachute to bring it safely back to earth after it popped, a tracking and telemetry receiver to send information about where the balloon was flying, three cameras and a beacon that gave longitude and latitude.

This was Beaker’s first time in space.

He flew gracefully above the earth and traveled out of Coors Field in downtown Denver, along I-70 before traveling north and eventually landing in a field 15 miles north of Synder, Colorado.

While rising above the earth, Beaker was the strong, silent type, even though the fear was evident in his eyes. He didn’t utter a single peep when the balloon dramatically popped high above the earth. Which begs the question, if Beaker screams in space, can anyone hear him?

A tracking team including Steve Spangler, Edge of Space experts and 9News photographers followed the balloon before finding it in a farmer’s field around 2:15 p.m.

We want to extend a huge thank you to everyone at The Edge of Space who sent Beaker on his maiden voyage and safely retrieved him hours later.

Watch Beaker’s entire journey and learn more about the weather balloon on The Spangler Effect – the Edge of Space.

Weather and Science Day with 9News, Steve Spangler Science and the Colorado Rockies Reaches All Time High

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.

Weather and Science Day May 2012 Courtesy 9News.com

Beaker “piloted” the weather balloon along with three flags from 9News, the Colorado Rockies and Steve Spangler Science. The balloon also had three cameras onboard that recorded hours of flight footage. You can see Beaker at the edge of the heavens and his violent fall back to earth after the balloon ruptured.

Weather Balloon with Beaker. Courtesy 9News.com

 

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.

Launching a balloon from Coors Field in the middle of the day isn’t as easy as it sounds. The balloon was going to take a journey up through aircraft flight patterns and could potentially be very hazardous. The FAA granted us special permission and diverted air traffic for 10 minutes for the launch.

This was the biggest Weather and Science Day, and although we do not have official numbers yet, we definitely had the biggest crowd ever.

The weather balloon was the biggest piece of Weather and Science Day, but it wasn’t all we did.

Students, teachers and weather and science fans also learned about the science of air, solar energy and the freezing and expanding powers of liquid nitrogen during the one hour event.

Liquid Nitrogen explosion during Weather and Science Day Courtesy 9News.com

Watch The Spangler Effect for an upcoming special half-hour episode dedicated to the weather balloon launch, flight and science behind it.

Join Steve Spangler and Kathy Sabine for Weather and Science Day 2012 at Coors Field

Join us for the third annual Weather & Science Day on Wednesday, May 2nd at 10:30 AM, before the Rockies game against the Dodgers at Coors Field.

Weather and Science Day 2009 resulted in a Guinness World Record for the Largest Physics Lesson. Weather and Science Day 2011 resulted in the stands exploding with a choreographed song played by everyone in unison and a giant cannon shooting clouds across the outfield. What will happen at this year’s Weather and Science Day? You’d better sign up to make sure you don’t miss the fun.

Students and their teachers can purchase special rate tickets for Weather and Science Day and stay for the game. The science demonstrations and weather lessons will be along the first base line. Students will then move to their assigned seats for the game.

Weather and Science Day is for school groups, but any science enthusiast who has a ticket to the game can come early and join in the excitement for learning.

 

Schedule May 2, 2012 – Coors Field

9:30 a.m.                        Gates A, B, and C Open
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.       Weather & Science Wonders
1:10 p.m.                          Rockies vs. Dodgers

Special ticket rates are available for schools, and bus parking is free:

  • Rockpile: $4
  • Upper level: $11
  • Mid-level: $15
  • Outfield Box: $18

Schools will receive a special bus pass and parking.

The Rockies ask that everyone attending Weather and Science Day arrive as early as possible. The wait to enter the ballpark could take up to 30 minutes.

For additional information and to purchase tickets, call 303-312-2208 or email donnellyr@coloradorockies.com. Or visit the 9News.com story about Weather and Science Day.

Prohibited Items
*Glass bottles and aluminum or metal cans (including aerosol cans, aerosol sunscreen)
*All hard-sided coolers and containers, regardless of size
*All soft-sided bags and containers larger than 16″x16″x8″
*Sticks or clubs (including signs attached to sticks)
*Beachballs, balloons and other inflatables
*Any fruit or vegetable larger than a grapefruit must be sliced
*Insulated coolers, cups and thermoses larger than 22 oz.
*Boxes (to hold sack lunches, etc.)

Permitted Items
*Plastic beverage containers
*Soft-sided bags or containers 16″x 16″x 8″ or smaller
*Insulated cups or thermoses 22 ounces or smaller
*Food items
*Umbrellas during the threat of inclement weather. Please only compact umbrellas (28″ – 34″ span).
*Paper or plastic cups with permitted beverages
*Potato chip or nut cardboard cans with metal tops or bottoms

Curious about what happened last year or want to relive the fun? Visit our Science and Weather Day page.

Steve Visits Dom and Jane Charity Marathon

After returning from taping the Ellen DeGeneres Show in Burbank, California, Steve brought some sounds of science to the Dom and Jane Charity Marathon for the Food Bank of the Rockies Friday. Steve shared a few of his favorite science sounds including the Musical Saw, Screaming Cup, Thunder Tube and water whistle, on the radio show.

Click here to listen to his appearance on the Dom and Jane Show and check out the pictures below.

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You can still donate to support the  Food Bank of the Rockies. Visit their website to donate today.

 

Join Us for a Halloween Science Twitter Party & WIN a Copy of Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste

Join us for a Twitter party on Tuesday, October 25th from 7-8pm MST to celebrate the launch of Steve’s new book, Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste. We will be giving away copies of the book during the party.

Please RSVP below in the comments then join the conversation on Tuesday for your chance to win an autographed copy.

We will discuss Halloween science, kitchen science and extracurricular science with our panelists @chaotic_barb, @rajean, @maryheston, @sanborncamps, @ljcooney3, @CarissaRogers. Follow our hashtags #firebubbles and #SSSci and use our TweetGrid.

**We unfortunately are unable to ship books to addresses outside of the 48 contiguous United States due to high shipping costs. We love all of our Hawaiian, Alaskan, Canadian and international customers. We apologize, but if you are outside of the 48 states and win a book, we will happily send you a book if you cover shipping charges.

 

If you thought Steve Spangler’s book Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes pushed the limits of your inner mad scientist, this second volume of 25 new, extraordinary home experiments is guaranteed to knock your socks off! Seriously… your socks are going to fly across the room. The materials are easy to find and the directions are simple to follow, but the end result is guaranteed to produce lots of ooohs & ahhhs. Steve Spangler takes his geek chic approach to exposing some of the coolest science tricks that will surprise teachers and amaze your friends. Over 200 color photographs accompany the step-by-step instructions, and simple explanations uncover the how-to and why for each activity.