Who Needs Hands-on Science When You Can Have Bodies on Science

bed-of-nails-NAEYCWe’re calling it a full body on science experience with our Bed of Nails demo at the NAEYC annual conference in Washington D.C. Teachers from all over the country (actually the world) come to NAEYC to learn the latest strategies and methods to get children excited and motivated to learn… especially when it comes to science. Our science island (as it was called) in the exhibit hall featured more than 50 cool science toys and hands-on science activities teachers could share with their children. This year we wanted to share something special with the teachers… something they would remember for years to come. Let’s turn hands-on science into a full body experience using the coolest Bed of Nails demonstration we’ve ever seen.

We want to thank Sherry Marshall from the Science Museum Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Museum Network for allowing us to share their motorized Bed of Nails demonstration with the participants at the NAEYC 2009 annual conference.


I first fell in love with this Bed of Nails when the producers at the Ellen DeGeneres Show asked me to find a safe way for Ellen to do the Bed of Nails demonstration. The experts at Hands-on! Inc. had just the piece of equipment we needed. As you can see in the video, this is no ordinary Bed of Nails. With a push of a button, nearly 5,000 nails raise up from the table top and lift a person weighing up to 300 pounds. The creativity and craftsmanship behind this exhibit makes it world class.

Each person at the NAEYC conference who visited the Steve Spangler Science booth and experienced the Bed of Nails had their picture taken at the moment the nails made contact with their body and lifted them a few inches above the surface of the table. Their WOW! memory was captured and turned into a new name tag – a nice way to remember the experience. And teachers weren’t the only ones climbing onto the Bed of Nails. In the midst of clean-up, even the union guys and security guards took turns on the “nail ride” as it was called. It’s easy to bring out the kid in all of us… when you have a motorized Bed of Nails and someone with a persuasive gift of gab.

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