September 23, 2016
By Ken Byrne
Someone once told me that all magic is science, and all science is magic. To me, a magic show is a series of puzzles for me to solve, trying to figure out just how they pulled off an illusion. My favorite science demonstrations are much the same. I love those demonstrations that make me scratch my head and ask, “Why?”
Here is one of my favorites that is easy and inexpensive. It feels like a magic trick, but it is all science. It simply involves rolling a cylinder down an inclined plane. Sometimes the cylinder will roll down quickly. Other times it will crawl down slowly. Read the rest of this entry »
September 9, 2016
Back to School with Discrepant Event Science!
by Mike Matthews
After a restful summer (which included a move to a new school!), classes are finally back in session! I always begin the year with a set of activities that challenge students to practice science process skills (observing, recording data, asking questions, etc.). My approach includes a series of quick “discrepant event” demos that captivate (and baffle) my students. From trying to figure out why two ice cubes melt at dramatically different rates to brainstorming explanations for how a sealed opaque balloon suddenly starts self-inflating, these demos engage students, assess their science skills, and emphasize the processes and habits that scientists use to inquire about the world around them.
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