Tag Archives: Exploding Toothpaste

Staff Spotlight on Copy Editor Debbie Leibold

Q: Tell us a little about who you are…
A: Let’s see… I’m definitely not a scientist, I’m not in a band, I’m not an ultra-creative graphic designer, I’m not on Ellen, I haven’t been featured on YouTube, I rarely blow things up.  My life is pretty boring compared to some of the people I work with.

I’m a mom, wife, dog walker, former high school English teacher, volunteer, taxi driver, sports fan (especially my kids’ sports), non-profit fund raiser, Duke grad, music lover, golfer, and avid reader. I have lived in Colorado most of my life and am passionate about education and the outdoors. I serve as a Trustee on a non-profit Board (the John Austin Cheley Foundation) that raises money to provide summer camp experiences for kids around the country.

Q: What do you do at Steve Spangler Science?
A: I edit Steve’s awesome books, specifically Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes and Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste.  I also review the catalog before it goes to print and many of the Experiments of the Week and other important emails and print materials that Steve Spangler Science produces.  Somehow, I have also earned the title of “Science Fair Expert,” so I have worked on revamping the science fair section of Steve’s website and adding Science Fair Connections to quite a few of our experiments–a perfect example of irony since I’m an English, not a science teacher. Basically, I guess you could call me the resident wordsmith, or (as some other people no doubt refer to me) that annoying grammar lady with the red pen.

Q: What do you like best about what you do?
A: I like that I get to be part of the Creative Team at Steve Spangler Science. I work with many very talented and creative people, and it is inspiring when we all bring our own skills to the table and work together to create an excellent final product. I learn new stuff all the time from my colleagues about technology, social media, website design, photography, video production, etc. You could say I’m a bit behind the times when it comes to all of that. It’s a good thing I represent just a very small piece of the puzzle!

Q:  What is your favorite Steve Spangler Science moment?
A: I’ve only been part of Steve Spangler Science for a couple of years, but I always enjoy Steve’s demonstrations on The Ellen Degeneres Show. I especially liked it when he blew up the trash can full of thousands of ping pong balls or when he had an audience member walk across a giant tub of cornstarch quicksand.  Steve is always aspiring to take a great idea and make it even bigger and better. It was also interesting the day that he shot an ethanol rocket across the office. I found out later that the same day he had launched a similar rocket across my son’s desk at school and set the top of his desk on fire… only momentarily until the ethanol burned itself out. No damage to the desk (or my son), but he definitely got my son’s attention.  How’s this for dinner conversation: “Mr. Spangler is so awesome! He set my desk on fire today!!”

Q: What is something you wish every SSS customer knew?
A: I wish every SSS customer knew how customer-centered the company is. Every decision that is made is based on doing what we feel would be best for the customer. We have an amazing customer service team, but behind the faces and voices of that team, everything else is also focused on providing the best shopping experience and the most unique learning resource for you that we possibly can.

Q: What is your favorite science experiment?
A: It’s hard not to love the Mentos and Diet Coke Geyser experiment, but I also think the Exploding Toothpaste experiment is one that a great teacher can use to get kids really excited about science. Bouncing Smoke Bubbles is another of my favorites. Playing with bubbles is always fun, but when the bubbles are big and white and full of carbon dioxide fog, they are downright awesome!

Q: What do you like to do when not on the job?
A: When I’m not on the job, I am probably driving my two boys (ages 14 and 11) to a sporting event or practice, managing homework, trying to figure out what’s for dinner (or which drive-thru we’re going to that night), or walking my dog. When I’m not at the kids’ activities or volunteering and actually have some time for myself, I like to play golf, ski, hike, read, and spend time in the mountains with my family and friends.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
A: I have known Steve since high school and it is fun to work for his company, collaborate on projects, and see his tremendous success. Who knew?? I will also be very embarrassed if, as copy editor, I missed any grammatical mistakes or typos in this Staff Spotlight. Who edits me?

The Reviews are In – Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste is a Science Hit

If you thought Steve Spangler’s book Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes pushed the limits of your inner mad scientist, Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste, the 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.

This book has over 200 beautiful color photographs that accompany step-by-step instructions for science experiments to do at home and in the classroom. It also has a special teachers-only section full of science demonstrations for the classroom.

Steve has performed some of the experiments in the book with Ellen DeGeneres on her television show. She is proud to be a part of this science experiment book.

Here is a sample of the experiments included in the book…

  • Floating Bowling Balls
  • Pop Bottle Music
  • Bouncing Smoke Bubbles
  • Walking on Eggshells
  • Balancing Nails
  • Fireproof Balloon
  • Skateboard Rocket Car
For all science fans in the Denver metro area – Steve is holding a book signing at the Tattered Cover in Highlands Ranch on Wednesday, December 7th from 6-8p.m.
Here is what people are saying about the book:
Boulder Moms from Boulder Moms Connect   –  November 30, 2011
For [a] week while [my son and I] waited for the book to arrive he hounded me. When is the book going to come, I want to “do” something. He’s been interested in experiments, astrology, and making things go for over a year now. Finally after what seemed like an eternity to him the book arrived.

The first thing he had me do was read the introduction to each activity in the entire book. We sat on the couch and read, and read and read. We talked about which experiments we would try, which ones we need to work our way up to, and started a shopping list. The one that intrigued him the most was “standing on eggs.” There are a few tricks to do this right. I’m not going to spoil the experiment by telling you how, but no, they are not hard boiled.

Later that week it was his turn for show and tell at school. Guess what he did? He stood proudly on eggs as his entire class, including his teacher watched in amazement. I’m excited to see all that comes of this book with our children.

Check out Boulder Moms entire review at the blog Boulder Moms Connect.

Lori from Lori’s Lolz   –  November 30, 2011
[It] was a huge hit in our home! It’s chock-full of experiments that make learning a journey full of discovery. The colorful pictures that go along with each experiment give a great step-by-step visual. Making science fun is just as important to me as making science easy to understand and this book does just that. I love how the experiments all have a “What’s Going On Here?” section which expounds on your understanding of what just happened.

I just love everything about this book. From the very first chapter, Air-Mazing, which looks A-Mazing to the very last chapter, The Super-Secret Teachers-Only Section and everything in-between, this is a must have experiment book that will surely make science come alive for you!

Check out Lori’s review (complete with pictures and video) at her blog, Lori’s Lolz.

Sharon    –  November 30, 2011 
If I thought Steve Spangler hit a home run with “Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes,” then I must say this work is a Grand Slam! It is a marvelous companion volume to his other book, but it is also a wonderful edition on its own. The text is easy to understand, and children can follow the directions with minimal supervision. It gives them a great sense of accomplishment to be able to say they did it themselves. The pictures are vivid and entertaining, and the actual experiments are lots of fun in addition to being invaluable teaching moments. I have this paperbound tome, and I am eagerly anticipating the iTunes version as well. I would highly recommend this book to teachers, parents, those interested in easy science demonstrations, and the fine folks who are still children at heart – it’s fun for everyone!

Ultimate Science Book
Sara from Reading All Year Long   –  November 30, 2011
I saw Steve Spangler on tv and had to pick up his book for my son. We got it from the library and it was a hit. Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste is the ultimate science book for kids who like science messy. So far, our favorite – the skewer through the balloon. Definitely one for the birthday party.

Read Sara’s entire review at her blogReading All Year Long.


Adam from Guy’s Read   –  November 30, 2011
 …the title is so intriguing. Fire bubbles? Exploding toothpaste? Those sound perfect for guys. I had to check it out. Man, am I glad I did. This book is chock full of awesome. Low budget, low quality? No way. This is a great book. Fire Bubbles is a compendium and how-to guide for a ton of great science experiments. Most of them seem like a very high reward-to-work/cost ratio. Steve Spangler even references the old, “Don’t try this at home” spiel. He knows, just as you and I know, that saying that just makes us want to do it more. His instructions, “Let’s try it!” And it’s not a suggestion. It’s an order.

Read the rest of Adam’s review on the blog Guy’s Read.

Jenny    –  November 30, 2011
 Great pictures and easy, step-by-step instructions make this set of science experiments a great resource for any science teacher. I’ve taught science for over 10 years and saw some experiments listed here that I’d never seen before. Also some instructions on showmanship that should not be ignored. Buy it, you won’t be sorry!
Cheryl – December 14, 2011
If my dad wrote a book, this would be it ! He was always regaling us with tales of getting up to mischief in the kitchen when he was a kid (which, these days, would be called taking a proactive interest in scientific discovery !), making volcanoes out of baking soda and vinegar and goodness what else that he could find in his mum’s cupboards.
Read the rest of Cheryl’s review on her blog, Madhouse Family Reviews