My childhood aspiration of one day becoming a game show host came true yesterday after being invited to appear on Facebook’s new trivia game show called Confetti. The show happens LIVE on Facebook at 6:30 pm PT / 9:30 pm ET. Participants follow the Confetti page (facebook.com/confetti) and play along on their mobile phone as they attempt to answer a series of 13 questions. Last night, the pool of 7,100 players were whittled down to four big winners who each took home $1,875.
So, how did yours truly find his way onto the hip and trendy set of Facebook’s Confetti show in Los Angeles? By airplane and then an Uber… but that’s not important. The show’s producers called because they were looking for high level of engagement from a really visual science demo that would grab people’s attention.
How did we select the classic “Elephant’s Toothpaste” demo for the show? Well, we (the Spangler) team didn’t. The producers came to us with the idea because they liked the highly visual nature of the demo (that they saw us do in many forms on our FOX show called DIY Sci). Our job was to ratchet it up a few notches… make it even more visual… and not complicate it with a lot of “extraneous” stuff. What does that mean? Don’t try to use this opportunity to actually teach a science lesson. Instead, use the opportunity to grab attention and pique the viewer’s curiosity and then direct them to a place to learn more about the science.
For all of the educators out there, this tactic might seem a little counterintuitive. But the strategy for engagement is all in the presentation of the subject. Sometimes engagement starts with a spark of curiosity that entices the learner to discover more on their own. While my job last night wasn’t to teach a lesson on the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, I hope that viewers visited our page (facebook.com/stevespangler) to learn more about the classic Elephant’s Toothpaste demo (which, by the way, was originally name Old Foamy when the demo was popularized in the 80s).
While I haven’t reached game show host status just yet, a quick appearance was a nice start. Huge thanks to our friends at Confetti for extending the invitation to come back several more times in the coming months.