About The Middleman

This post was contributed in written or verbal form and converted to a blog post by me. It could have had any number of authors. Look at each post to see who the idea came from originally.

Plastic Car

Aside

I talked to Sherry Marshall from the Oklahoma Museum Network today and she shared a little magnet experiment with me. She said she had been carrying around some neodymium magnets in her pocket that one day she was sitting in her car and got to wondering if she could use the magnets to search for metal components. She started running the magnets over everything in the car looking for metal and couldn’t find anything but a couple mounting screws in the stereo. Surprisingly, the interior of her car was almost entirely made up of other materials.

Do Marbles Fly?

This photograph was taken by Shannon from Science Museum Oklahoma at their Did You Ever? Summer Camp. You are looking at a wind tube from the ExNET tinkering set. There’s a strong wind coming up through the screen, and this little explorer threw some marbles in to see what would happen. He waited awhile to see if they would fly up, but alas they didn’t. This is a good moment to highlight the importance of asking questions and testing them, and of recognizing that when you’re wrong you probably just learned something. Kudos to you kid.

Bubble Explosions!

The following post was written by Chip Lindsey, from Science Works in Ashland, Oregon.
A hydrogen tank and regulator can create some interesting experiences with bubbles. Filling bubbles with pure hydrogen and setting them ablaze is relatively safe.  The hydrogen burns rather than explodes, producing beautiful mushroom-shaped fireballs.  If a hydrogen-filled bubble lingers for long, air begins to mix with the hydrogen through osmosis creating increasingly more explosive mixtures of gas inside the bubble.

Bubbles that escape, rise quickly upward, demonstrating the lifting potential of the lightest element.