When Actor Rainn Wilson Asked Steve Spangler About the Science of Love, Things Got a Little Awkward

Actor Rainn Wilson of SoulPancake – a website where life’s big questions are debated, mixed and turned to batter – recently made a visit to the Spangler Labs. He sat down with Steve Spangler and asked about the science of love.

When Steve didn’t quite have the answer, he vamped a little and tried to answer the question the best he could…

Did you wonder why Steve and Rainn never appear together in the same shot? They each shot their part in different studios – Steve in Englewood, Colorado and Rainn in Los Angeles. Our two teams met last February at a YouTube workshop. Both The Spangler Effect and SoulPancake are part of YouTube EDU and one of the 100 original channels on YouTube.

YouTube encouraged channels to collaborate, so the masterminds behind SoulPancake and The Spangler Effect put their heads together and came up with a two-sided video that showed off each channels’ personality and style. The result was a fun interview-style parody that asked the question, “What’s the science of love?” The video is beautifully edited by our own Executive Video Producer, Bradley Mayhew.

If you enjoyed our little collaboration, please subscribe to both The Spangler Effect and SoulPancake on YouTube.

Here are a few behind the scenes photos from the shoot on our end…

 

For more information on the experiments Steve used or to purchase the kits, please visit the pages below.

Bouncing Bubbles
Are you a true bubble-ologist? Have you ever bounced a bubble? Can you squeeze a bubble? Are you a true bubble trickster? With this kit you will be able to do all of this and more! The amazing bubble concentrate makes 4 Liters (1 gallon) worth of incredible bubble solution. You will also receive some of the best bubble blowers on the market and gloves so you can actually touch and play with a bubble – AMAZING! So go ahead, mix up a batch and discover the true beauty of a bubble! Recommended for children ages 8 and up.

 

Energy Stick
The Energy Stick is the newest tool in experimenting with open and closed circuits. Completely safe to touch and handle, the Energy Stick features electrodes on each end of its 7.5″ long tube. When these electrodes are touched simultaneously, long-lasting LED lights inside the tube flash and the tube makes a noise. Release one or both of the electrodes and the flashing lights and noise stop. Do it over and over again… it works every time!

 

 

Geyser Tube
The Geyser Tube™ is a loading tube for the now famous Diet Coke geyser powered by MENTOS®. If you’ve ever tried doing the experiment, you know how difficult it can be to drop the MENTOS® into the bottle before the reaction takes off… and you’re soaking wet. The Geyser Tube will give you a perfect launch every time with time to stand back.

Attach the Geyser Tube to any bottle of soda (but diet soda works best because it’s not sticky – no sugar!)

Secure the trigger pin in place. Load the MENTOS® into the tube, lock the special pressurizing nozzle in place and pull the pin.

 

 

 

Space Phone
If you thought a string connecting two soup cans was a major form of telecommunication (or at least better than Cingular), Space Phones are guaranteed to knock your socks off. The two cones amplify sounds and vibrations when the spring is stretched, making wild and wacky sounds. Includes instructions and a study guide on the principles of sound. Recommended for children ages 8 and up.

 

Join us at the Barnes and Noble in Littleton for a Steve Spangler Book Signing

Meet Colorado’s Science Guy – our own Steve Spangler. He will be at the Barnes and Noble at 8136 W Bowles Ave. in Littleton, Colorado on Thursday, December 6th between 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. to sign his books, Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes and Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste. Books will be available for purchase at the store.

Unlike our past book signings, Steve will not have a show or hands-on experiments. He will have some fun activities at the book signing table.

Here’s a map to Barnes and Noble in Littleton.

We hope to see you there!

12 Days of Smart Toys Starts Today

Today, we celebrate the march toward the holidays with our 12 Days of Smart Toys.Each weekday, we will offer one of our 12 Educational Toys as the Deal of the Day.

We can’t tell you which item will be offered each day or the amount of the discount ahead of time. Deals start each morning at 12:00 a.m. and are in limited quantities.

To be the early bird who gets the science toy, sign up to receive the Deal of the Day emails.They are sent early each morning with all the details of the day’s sale with a link to the Deal of the Day.

And don’t forget…December 17th is the last guaranteed day you can place an order and get it there by Christmas and pay ground shipping.

 

 

Mad Bubble Scientist – An Indoor Bubble Experiment for All Ages

By Genny Upton from In Lieu of Preschool 

Bubbles!  Who doesn’t love bubbles!?!  We certainly love them at our house, but with the weather getting colder by the day, blowing bubbles outside is NOT at the top of my to-do list!  An easy solution we’ve found to beat the cold is to blow bubbles indoors!  It’s not very messy because we blow the bubbles on a table top.  They are quite spectacular to see and kids as young as 2 or 3 can participate!

We first tried the Mad Bubble Scientist activity printed on the Action Card we picked up from Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, NC about two months ago. We made our own basic bubble solution per the recipe and had a blast blowing bubbles on the table!  We were able to blow really huge bubbles and then play with them in ways like sticking a straw or our finger into them without popping the bubble, blowing bubble colonies, and even blowing bubbles inside of bubbles.    The Action Card suggested some further experimentation ideas, but we didn’t try any of those suggestions…until today!

The new bubble experimenting we did was even more fun than the first!!  The basic plan was to make the same bubble solution we used before, but alter it by adding additional ingredients.  We wanted to know if the additions would affect the bubbles, and, if so, how.

To set up, I started off by boxing off the kids’ art table into 6 sections using masking tape.  I labeled each section with what was going to be in it – regular bubble solution, honey, salt, food coloring, vegetable oil, and sugar.  Next the kids helped to mix up the basic bubble solution in the kitchen by whisking together 1 cup of water and ¼ cup of dishwashing liquid.

We divided the basic bubble solution evenly into 6 disposable cups which I labeled with a marker – regular, honey, salt, food coloring, vegetable oil, and sugar.  The recipe on the Action Card called for 2 Tablespoons of each addition to be added to the basic solution, but since we divided our recipe into 6 cups, we used only 1 teaspoon of each addition per cup.  To the regular cup we added nothing.  To the honey, salt, food coloring, vegetable oil, and sugar cups we added 1 teaspoon of the listed ingredient.  I stirred them until everything was dissolved, and then placed the cups into the properly labeled box on the kids’ table, along with a plastic straw.  I used a medicine dropper to take a little of each solution and puddle it on the table in the box it belonged.

Then the kids and I dipped the ends of our straws into the cups, placed the dipped end into the little puddle on the table, and blew gently to create bubbles right on the table top.  We had a lot of fun trying and comparing all the different bubble solutions.

 

In the end, my two preschool-aged children made some pretty interesting scientific observations.  Lilah, 3, said her favorite was the honey because it blew the biggest bubbles without popping.  Luke, 4, said he really liked them all, but the food coloring was his most favorite because he really liked the green bubbles.  And we all noticed it was really hard to blow bubbles with the salt solution.

The Mad Bubble Scientist experiment is really such an easy activity to set up and you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already.  It’s also simple to clean up; just be sure your table/surface is non-porous, especially when it comes to the food coloring.  If in doubt, always test it first yourself.  Everything we used wiped right off when we were finished experimenting!

Hands-on science is so great for kids and it can start with something as simple as dish detergent, water, and a straw!!  The next time it’s too cold or rainy to go out, stay in and blow some amazing bubbles!!

 

 

Genny Upton is a former elementary and reading teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children.  She writes the blog, In Lieu of Preschool, where she shares activities she does with her kids at home instead of sending them to preschool.  She regularly posts arts and crafts, early learning activities, free printables, posts on parenting, as well as reviews and recommendations for products, books, and curriculum.  You can connect with In Lieu of Preschool via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (), or Google+.

Creating Unforgettable Learning Experiences

By April Oaks

Growing up, I did not like science.  It was by far my least favorite subject.  I didn’t understand it and it certainly wasn’t fun.  With exception to an amazing physics teacher in high school, I never had any other teachers who helped me see any value in science.  I did have great teachers… just not in science.

 

Now I’m the mother of a science nut!  I have a son that is crazy about science.  He is smart and curious and has a strong desire to learn all he can about science. As his mom, I feel an obligation to teach him all I can, and help encourage the good things he is interested in.  A few years ago this was a problem, because I still didn’t like science.  However, I knew I had to get over that to help encourage my son’s desire to learn.   So, I did what I needed to… I faked it.  I pretended to love science.  I also researched simple science concepts, and found lots of science experiments to do with my kids.   Thank goodness our kids start out small so I didn’t have to know a lot in the beginning.

Soon enough, I didn’t have to fake a love for science; I really did love it!  I began to love it because I found out it could be interesting and fun.  Steve Spangler has been my main resource for everything science because he has such a fun way to present all concepts.  His videos are especially helpful and entertaining to watch.

If you are a teacher or parent who wants to create unforgettable learning experiences, copy Steve’s enthusiasm and have fun with your kids.  Don’t lecture!  It’s easiest to learn when you are having fun.  Make things explode, create a mess, and learn about the things around you.  Science is awesome!

Here are some of my favorite ideas from Steve Spangler.   Don’t just watch the videos, read how things work.  Steve’s explanations are easy to understand and so fascinating!  If you don’t see an explanation for how something works, click on tabs surrounding a video or product until you do.  You are going to feel so smart when you see how simple science concepts help you understand complex principles.

  1. Egg Drop  – Newton’s Law of Inertia is Awesome!  I still can’t believe this worked so easily!
  2. Boo Bubbles - You have to try this!  However, if the Boo Bubble container isn’t in your budget, you could try this experiment to build your own.
  3. Vanishing Jelly Marbles - This is one of my son’s favorites.
  4. Marshmallow Masher  – Just fun… and cheap!
  5. Windbags  – Seriously, incredible.  Such an easy way to understand a complex principle.  Read how it works here.
  6. UV Beads - Quickly see how sunscreen works.
  7. Centripetal Force Board - Crazy Fun!  We love this board.  You could do similar experiments with a bucket of water, or grocery bags filled with food.
  8. Film Canisters - Nothing makes my son happier than making things explode.
  9. Balloon Skewer - For Halloween we gave out tricks instead of treats.  We put a few balloons, a skewer and instructions on how to do this experiment in a plastic bag for each kid who came to the door.
  10. Walking on Eggs - Unbelievable!  Who would guess an egg could be so strong!


I am a mom to two great kids.  My son Luke is a science lover.  He is so passionate about science, that he has gotten the rest of the family excited about it, including his artsy little sister, Megan.  In our house, we are constantly looking for new ways to learn and experiment.  We talk about science every day, and once a week have Luke’s friends over for his “Monkey Mind Science Club”.  Steve Spangler has been our main resource when we want to learn something new.  In the day, when I’m not talking science with my kids, I’m busy selling real estate in Salt Lake City.  Occasionally I have time for my hobbies too, which include skiing, hiking, photography, graphic design and blogging.

 

 

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