Having a Blast at the NAEYC 2008 Conference

Boy-in-a-BoxIf you attended the annual NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) conference last week in Dallas, Texas, it wasn’t hard to find the Steve Spangler Science booth. All you had to do was listen for the shouts of surprise as we launched over 600 Mentos Geysers with the Geyser Tube™ in our own take on the classic dunk tank… the Boy in a Box. It was great to see the teacher reactions when they pulled the string and sent a blast of Coke raining down on our never-tiring Boys in a Box.

As my team can attest, I lost my voice at the conference… just like I do every year… from explaining to everyone who passed by the science behind the Mentos and Diet Coke reaction.  It’s important as educators that we don’t just drop some Mentos in a Coke and call it science.  The resulting geyser is a great effect, but you are missing the key piece of the lesson.  Shoot off a geyser, then listen as your students start to ask questions… “Why does that happen?”…  “What if we used more Mentos?”… “What if we didn’t use Diet Coke?”.  Now you’ve got it.  Not only are you creating an unforgettable learning experience, but you are setting the gears running for your students to wonder, explore and create.  Put those questions into action and you are teaching even the youngest scientists the fundamentals of the scientific method.  Change the number of Mentos in the tube, try different types of soda, ignite curiosity in your students.

I also had the honor of speaking to over 1,000 teachers in a 60-minute workshop at the conference.  If you attended the workshop, hopefully, you would agree that this wasn’t your average teacher workshop.  In the course of an hour we launched potatoes, made a confetti snow storm, launched even more Mentos geysers and ended with an outrageous Liquid Nitrogen Explosion.

As always, our team is so excited to have the opportunity to meet so many amazing early childhood teachers and learn how they are using science to get their students excited about learning.  If you saw us at the conference leave a comment below and let us know how you are using these methods to make your classroom amazing.

Mentos Geyser Chamber Confetti Cannon - NAEYC 08 Teachers and Mentos Geyser Experiment Liquid Nitrogen Explosion - NAEYC 08 Geyser Chamber & Teachers Liquid Nitrogen Explosion 2 "Boy in a Box" NAEYC 2009 - Steve Spangler Science Booth Mentos Geyser Eruption Steve Keynote - Teachers Boy in a Box - Geyser Chamber Eruption NAEYC 2009 - Steve Spangler Science - Staff

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  1. […] Washington D.C. is preparing for the arrival of thousands of early childhood teachers at the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) annual conference. Over the years, I’ve been honored to present hands-on science workshops and featured sessions, but I probably enjoy my time in the exhibit hall the most… because we always try to plan something over-the-top for the thousands of teachers who stop by the booth. We’ve filled our science demo island with hundreds of gallons of Instant Snow, shot off 700 Mentos Diet Coke geysers, and introduced the release of our Geyser Tube toy with a life size Boy in a Box demo. Last year, a volunteer from the audience vanished in a cloud of smoke. […]

  2. […] appearance on Good Day Dallas is the kick-off to a week of science workshops and presentations at NAEYC and the Texas Association of Science Teachers annual convention. Tags: Fox 4 News, Good Day […]

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