Ellen hit a science home run! She whipped off the tablecloth, smashed the veggies and popped the pumpkins like a pro. We just returned from the Ellen Show studios in Burbank, California, and I couldn't be more excited (and relieved) about the segment. The relief part comes from the fact that the producers selected a few high risk demos like the tablecloth pull and the self-carving pumpkins. As I've written in the past, I never get a chance to practice any of the demonstrations with Ellen. She even mentioned this during the introduction… "I purposely don't know what is going to happen because I want it to be a surprise."
The segment started by teaching Ellen how to use the law of inertia to pull the tablecloth out from under the dishes. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I felt that teaching the viewers at home (especially the kids) how to do the famous tablecloth trick was the most responsible thing I could do! The key instruction was this simple statement… pul the cloth straight down… and she did! Nice job. After whipping off the tablecloth, we moved to flash freezing fruit using liquid nitrogen. It's amazing the mess you can make with a few pieces of frozen fruit and a rubber hammer. We moved to the big finale with a table filled with pre-carved pumpkins. If you know anything about me, you can probably guess what happened. Look Mom… my chemistry degree paid off. Three kabooms and three carved pumpkins (minus one eye that refused to fly away).
After the segment, I got a chance to talk to Ellen just long enough to thank her for shining the spotlight on all the teachers and parents who are helping to make science education more exciting and meaningful. A few ooohs & ahhhs go a long way. Thanks Ellen.