Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Worthy of Mr. Wizard

Thank you to Linda Goodwin for writing my first guest blog post and to Jim Goodwin for providing these wonderful pictures of the event.

Linda is feeling the force from a spinning gyroscope.

The group of science enthusiasts at the Pomfret Library.

My husband’s idea of the perfect science teacher is Mr. Wizard from 1950s TV. He performed chemistry experiments with ordinary household substances and made it all fun. Sharon’s demonstration last night at the Pomfret Public Library was definitely worthy of Mr. Wizard. 

It was the culmination of the adult summer reading program with a science theme.  

Brian demonstrating rotational inertia.
Her husband Brian presented some physics demonstrations about magnetism and sound waves, and Sharon focused on acids, bases and pH, with hands-on participation. 
Interacting with a gyroscope.

She kept us mashing and liquefying while using cabbage juice as the baseline pH indicator. We then tested other natural substances to find their usefulness as indicators.  Kids as well as adults joined in.
Sharon and Micaela make the pH Rainbow with Red Cabbage Juice
When that was finished, we adjourned to the outdoor deck to see a long tube fill with gentle flames over a votive candle and from Brian more flames reacting to sound waves in music.
Testing the pH sensitivity of natural pigments.

Sharon prefaced her presentation by saying how much she liked to do community outreach. This is the third time I’ve seen her in action and I can truly say she conveys the message of science as an enjoyable and useful subject, just as a science ambassador should.

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