|Okay, so the only balloons at King Soopers had smiley faces on them. I think it adds a nice touch. This was Alka seltzer and water creating carbon dioxide.|
|Ammonia + epsom salt solution = gel precipitate|
|Steel wool soaked in vinegar to remove outer layer rusts really quickly, using oxygen and sucking the balloon into the flask.|
Science is awesome, and the more MY students think so, the more they'll inspire their future students to think so. Not only do we need more scientists and engineers in the US, we need everyone, particularly journalists, to have a general appreciation and understanding of what we do. Therefore, when science appears in the news in some form, it gets reported properly and the audience is capable of understanding it at a level beyond a headline. A few examples from today's news include ignorance about climate change among politicians and the general public as well as ignorance about nuclear energy safety and fear of the seemingly magical processes that takes place inside a reactor.
Think how easy it was to inspire young children to become scientists and engineers when we had an active space program and President Kennedy said, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." Then you see these inspirational astronauts and the teams behind them actually going to the moon! What sort of equivalent do we have in today's society? Today, great scientists in my field have had their reputations dragged through the mud by politicians and the media.
So, I only can touch 100 students each semester and inspire a fascination about science, whether it be physics, chemistry, meteorology, or next fall, climate science. (And no, I am not naive enough to believe that all of them leave my class inspired.) How can I make a bigger impact? How can I educate a public that doesn't care about education? Help!