Shortly before 11am on Saturday October 14 faculty and students prepared their areas with equipment, poster boards, creatures, among other things. Coming off a successful inaugural year, there were high hopes and expectations for the turnout and reception of the newly named Science in Action, formerly Discovery Day. The excitement built as guests of all ages began to come through the doors, and in a short time the attendance eclipsed that of the previous year. People began to mingle and take in the various activities surrounding them.
Demos of gravitational waves and the equipment used to measure them, various species of reptile and amphibian learning about how to protect them and how they can help us understand viruses, and a stationary bike generating electricity for your very own smoothie were just part of what visitors had to check out. You could create Halloween themed toys using basic chemistry, learn about the microscopic world that exists in soil, and get a closer look at plants’ mouths. Test your mental acuity compared to AI in a game of Towers of Hanoi and see how it feels to lose control as someone else takes control of your motor skills.
A homecoming event wouldn’t be complete without an appearance by Rocky the Red Hawk who took some time to check out what we had to offer. If you’re like Rocky you like to get hands-on with activities, making the human-scale bug maze a great stop on the tour. Learning about predator and prey relationships, and getting to run through a maze trying to most successfully evade a threat.
Science is exciting in that it gives an instruction manual to basically anything and everything. This includes explosions. So it’s hard to think of a better way to conclude a day of demonstrating science than to incorporate something explosive! With a little chemistry magic aka an empty soda bottle and liquid nitrogen, the CELS atrium became a blasting zone with a beautiful eruption of ping pong balls that scattered through the air and all around the giddy onlookers.
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