Steve Spangler was joined on stage by his wife, Renée, and two of his sons, Mark and Scott. Steve kicked-off his part of the program with a pop-quiz on the science of air which revealed the fact that most of the air we breathe is nitrogen. Kathy Sabine joined the Spangler crew on stage to talk about how clouds are formed as members of the Spangler Science demo team filled large trash cans that spanned the front of the performance area with liquid nitrogen. Steve and Renée triggered the big reaction on stage with compressed in a 55 gallon drum filled. Giant clouds erupted from the trash cans as plastic balls were shot high into the air to demonstrate the real power of air.
Belen de Leon joined Steve to teach the science of Bernoulli’s Principle. In what has now become a Weather & Science Day classic experiment, nearly 8,000 people joined Steve to inflate 8 foot long plastic bags using only a single breath of air! The science secret is in the way you hold the bag and position your mouth away from the bag. Believe it or not, the fast-moving stream of air from your mouth can actually draw outside air into the bag. Being able to inflate a bag with a single breath of air is guaranteed to amaze and fool your friends… and it creates an unforgettable experience as the audience triggers an explosion of color.
The big finale was an Egg Drop content with students and teachers from Doull Elementary, Castro Elementary and Mackintosh Academy. The goal of this STEM activity was to create a packaging design that would protect the egg from breaking when it was front from a high distance. After watching a brief video that revealed each of the school’s designs, the boxes were attached to giant weather balloons filled with hydrogen gas and hoisted to a height of 60 feet. The weather balloon experts from Edge of Space Sciences were on hand to fill the balloon with hydrogen and attach the payload while Ernie Simmons from Zambelli Pyrotechnics attached a detonator to each balloon. The audience provided the countdown and Ernie flipped the switch that caused the hydrogen balloons to explode. After the boxes fell to the ground, the STEM kid were quick to check the fate of their eggs. The eggs from Castro and Mackintosh both survived while a small crack in the egg from Doull caused the egg to break when the package was opened. However, no one was disappointed with the amazing effort that these talented kids demonstrated in this very unique STEM challenge.
Steve Spangler shared these final thoughts with the audience… “As the term STEM gets used more frequently, I’d challenge you to think about STEAM – science, technology, engineering, ARTS and math. With all of your help, today we created an experience filled with high energy, laughter and emotion. That’s the ART in STEAM – an emotional experience that makes science unforgettable. We want to use your experience here at Weather & Science Day to remind you that there are unlimited opportunities that await you in the fields of science and engineering. Never stop wondering, exploring, asking questions or using your creativity to solve the word’s problems. It’s the formula for success and you’re on the right track!”