Liquid Nitrogen Explosions – Flying Trash Cans Prompt Visitors

They say practice makes perfect. So, we were practicing for an upcoming live performance by setting off liquid nitrogen trash can explosions in our parking lot… and a few visitors showed up. We might have upset our neighbors.

Let’s start by saying, “Don’t try this at home… or anywhere for that matter.” The explosion is the biggest I’ve seen (outside of some military training!). Our good friends down at the Oklahoma Science Center do this demo as part of their Science LIVE show and it’s great. The demo team down at the Arizona Science Center shared their version of the liquid nitrogen explosion by covering the soda bottle with a trash can. When bottle blows, the trash can takes flight… much to the amusement of the kids.

You might be wondering how this kind of thing fits into a normal work day. The word “normal” is probably arguable, but it does happen. Several weeks ago, I was asked by the Colorado Rockies and 9News to help them kick off their first annual Science Day at Coors Field. The organizers want Kathy Sabine from 9News and I to do some weather related science experiments for about 5,000 kids. “Make it big” was my marching order. Since it’s not often that you get a chance to use an entire baseball field to do a few science demos, we thought why not?

I had visions of possibly getting to ride in the police car on my way to county jail. I’m thankful the police were understanding. I asked, “If I were to do something like this again, should I call you first?” All three officers looked at me and said, “YES!”

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Comments (7)

  • Heather Johnson Reply

    All for the love of science! Because of your wild antics, I have a co-op who are begging for their science lessons. We are all glad they didn’t haul you off to jail :0)

    April 3, 2009 at 6:25 am
    • Steve Spangler Reply

      Heather – Too funny. Let your teachers know that the science lessons will keep coming. Here’s the next lesson… if you’re going to make lots of noise with your science project, call your friends in blue first.

      April 7, 2009 at 9:55 am
  • Miranda Wilson Reply

    I showed this to my husband who is going back to school to teach biology. I think you may have convinced him to change his major to physics. All he could say was “that is so awesome.”

    You guys have all the fun out there in Colorado. Keep rockin the science world with all your fun experiments.

    April 9, 2009 at 4:41 pm
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    April 11, 2009 at 9:29 am
  • jermaine@love poems Reply

    Steve, you are amazing when it comes to science. That was one amazing project you had going there even the police officers were stunned by this. Great way to amaze people even the police. Oh yeah, nicely done video.

    April 14, 2009 at 8:12 am
  • Micheal Uche Reply

    This was the coolest project yet. I am glad you gathered this project and showed it to us.

    May 5, 2009 at 3:46 pm
  • Cute Videos Reply

    Seen Steve Spangler live a couple of times, he puts on one heck of a show!

    September 4, 2009 at 7:35 pm

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