Tag Archives: 9News Science Guy

Bubble Bubble on the Wall, Who's the Squarest of Them All?

Bubbles! Bubbles! Bubbles! My bubbles!

It’s one of the most memorable scenes from Finding Nemo. We also love bubbles at Steve Spangler Science. The science of bubbles is as fascinating as bubbles are engaging.

First, start with a good bubble solution. The secrets behind great bubbles are dish soap and glycerin. Just don’t use the antibacterial dish soap. Dawn works the best.

Glycerin is the true secret to the best bubbles because it keeps the bubble hydrated. A bubble will pop in the air because the water evaporates. The glycerin will hold onto that water and extend the life of the bubble. But don’t let it touch your skin. Oil and dirt are the enemies of bubbles.

The best bubble blower is a pipette with the end cut off. Just remember to blow through the pipette and not suck.

How do you make a round bubble a square? Start with a cube structure. You can make one with straws or sticks. Dip the cube into a bucket or container of bubble solution, then, using your bubble blower, carefully drop a round bubble into the center of the cube. Square bubbles!

We have you covered for all of your bubble needs –  pipettes, glycerin, bubble solution, gloves, square bubble maker and more, visit our Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles page. For experiments and more on the science behind bubbles, visit the Square Bubble experiment.

What's That in the Sky? Is it a Bird or a Plane? Nah, It's Science!

If you were at Weather and Science Day last week, you saw our giant flying sausages, the Solar Bags.

Solar Bags are 50 feet long and are made from a very thin plastic. When inflated, the black plastic heats the air up inside the Solar Bag. The air expands and the bag floats in the air. Our fabulous and dedicated Steve Spangler Science crew ran across the outfield at Coors Field last week to fill the balloons up with air. We filled the stadium with Solar Bags.

Steve also gave 800 teachers, cub scout and girl scout leaders Solar Bags to take back to their group for a hands-on learning experience. If you are a teacher or educator that received a Solar Bag, we have a homework assignment for you. Give your students or kids a little lesson in the properties of air and inflate your Solar Bag. Take pictures and videos of the experience and upload on the 9News site under the SendIt tab. Your video may be featured on upcoming episodes with Steve Spangler.

You can also use dry cleaning bags for a classroom demonstration. Using a heat source on the ground, completely deflate the dry cleaning bag. Hold the bag over the heat source with the open end down. Warm air is less dense than colder air, so the bag should begin to inflate and float.

The Science of Sugar – How Much Sugar is in a Can of Soda?

Do you know how much sugar is in that can of soda you drink every afternoon? It’s well known that sugar accounts for the high calories in soda that lead to weight gain and unhealthy habits. But just how much is in that can and what about diet soda?

Start by placing different types and brands of soda into a bucket of water. Which ones will float and which ones will sink? Classify and take notes. Then move to the science behind your results. Why do some float and why do some sink?

Start with comparisons – we are going to use Coke and Diet Coke in our example. Both cans are the same size and hold the same volume 355 mL. The regular Coke weighs about 384 grams while the Diet Coke weighs 371 grams. The regular Coke has 140 calories, the diet Coke has zero calories. Are the calories the thing that makes it weigh more? Sort of.

The regular Coke has 39 grams of sugar. But what does that mean? About 18 packets of sugar in one can of regular Coke.

The reason the regular Coke sinks is the sugar content. If you drank one can of soda every day for a year, you would consume 32 pounds of sugar!

For more on the Science of Sugar, watch this week’s episode of The Spangler Effect where Steve goes beyond the sugar in a can of soda and makes some very sweet discoveries.

 

Skewer Through the Balloon Experiment Surprises Weathercaster

For this experiment, we traded fire extinguishers, exploding toothpaste and liquid nitrogen for balloons and cooking skewers…not an explosive experiment at all. Then why was Becky Ditchfield so nervous?

It’s so simple. Blow up a balloon and tie off the bottom. Then take a cooking skewer and stick it through the balloon. Impossible? Not if you have a little patience and know a little science. Becky definitely got the hang of it until she was asked to try sticking the skewer through a large balloon.

For more information and a science lesson, read the Skewer Through the Balloon Experiment at SteveSpanglerScience.com.

Happy Halloween with Self-Carving Exploding Pumpkins

We at Steve Spangler Science have demonstrated Exploding Pumpkins for over 15 years. This year, we tried experimenting with small and large pumpkins to see which one would produce the biggest bang and test our timing skills. With the help of the morning and afternoon 9News anchors, we carved a few jack-o-lanterns to celebrate Halloween. You decide – in which segment did we do our best carving work?

Editor’s NoteThis experiment was presented for educational and demonstration purposes only.  We DO NOT recommend trying this experiment in the classroom or at home unless you have had proper training. Do NOT do this at home. 

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