Mad Science at Union Elementary

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Lee Snider, under the mad scientist name "Lightning Lee," pressed a metal screwdriver against a block of dry ice, creating a screeching noise.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Mad Science's "Fire and Ice" assembly centered around some experiments using fire and many using dry ice. Pictured, Union Elementary first and second graders react to a chemical reaction combining dry ice and a tube of liquid. The reaction, dubbed the "rainbow reaction," changed the colors of the liquid in the container.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Marcia Dilling created a reaction using dry ice, which resulted in a bubbles. Dilling, under her mad scientist name "Dr. M," tossed the bubbles to the students.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Marcia Dilling and Lee Snider made a steam that tasted like soda using dry ice. Pictured, Dilling gave the children a taste of their soda steam.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Mad Science came to Union Elementary to teach science while giving a fun performance. The "mad scientists" Lee Snider, pictured left in lab coat, and Marcia Dilling, pictured right in lab coat, had the students balance a beach ball using a leaf blower.

By ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

Union Elementary School welcomed two guests from Mad Science to their school for an assembly on Nov. 21.

The guests, Marcia Dilling and Lee Snider, performed a number of entertaining science experiments using dry ice. They put on two shows in the school’s gymnasium, one for the kindergarten students and another for the first and second grade.

Mad Science offers educational experiences that teach students scientific concepts while providing them with an entertaining show. Snider joked, “it’s like slipping green beans into the casserole.“ She also referred to the performance as “fun with an educational twist.“

The “Mad Scientists“ began their “Fire and Ice“ presentation with an introduction using pseudonyms. Dilling took the name “Dr. M“ and Snider went by the name “Lightning Lee.“

They began by trying to fit an egg into a beaker. Dilling took suggestions from the students as to how to make the egg fit. First, she took off the shell and then she placed an open flame at the bottom of the beaker, which caused the egg to slip into the container. She explained to the students that the change in air pressure pulled the egg inward.

They then took volunteers from the audience to use a hair drier to balance a ping pong ball in the air. Then, they grabbed two other volunteers to balance an inflatable ball in the air using a leaf blower.

The scientists introduced dry ice to the students. Dilling stressed safety when dealing with dry ice. They both pulled out metal tools and pushed them against the dry ice, causing a loud screech noise. They also placed a coin into the dry ice, which made the coin vibrate.

Then, the two placed dry ice into a container, which caused smoke to come out quickly. They flavored the smoke to taste like soda and allowed the students to have a taste.

The scientists dropped a block of dry ice into a container of liquid, which caused a bubbling reaction. The two grabbed the bubbles and tossed them to the students.

Snider dropped a chunk of dry ice into a large beaker with liquid in it to cause a chemical reaction. The liquid in the container began as purple, then it turned blue, then yellow, and then a greenish yellow to end. They called this their “rainbow reaction.” Then, she turned around and dropped a large chunk of dry ice into hot water to create a large fog across the stage in the gymnasium.

They ended the program asking the children what they learned. The children answered that they learned about sublimation, dry ice and air pressure.

Mad Science performs shows like these in schools and at birthday parties, scouting events and camps. They also do hands-on tables at various locations. The company encourages a love for science.

Dilling and Snider work for the Northeast Ohio chapter of Mad Science located in Canton. According to the Mad Science website, they have more than 86 locations spanning more than 20 countries.

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