www.whyville.net Aug 23, 2009 Weekly Issue

Science Specialist

If At First You Don't Succeed . . .

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. . . experiment, experiment again. OK, so that's not quite how the old saying goes, but it's pretty close! A big part of any kind of science is testing a hypothesis or trying out an experiment, and - when it doesn't work - figuring out what went wrong. The process of trouble-shooting can sometimes be tedious, but it's so exciting when you finally figure out the solution and an experiment actually works!

I was reminded of this earlier today during a phone interview with John Williams on WGN Radio. John has been awesome this year in promoting Science Chicago events and even served as moderator of the Live With Adam and Jamie event in March. He's also a not-so-secret science geek himself, which makes talking with him incredibly fun! But while he's great on the radio and in person, I learned this morning that his real-life science experiments might not be quite ready for prime time.

John Williams, moderating Live With Adam and Jamie, March 1, 2009.

We sent him a recipe for Pop Rockets, and John videotaped himself trying the experiment. And . . . well, here it is (click on the "Science Experiments" video). FYI, the rockets usually pop within 10 seconds . . .

Kudos to John for trying it out and putting his experiment on the Internet . . . maybe this is an opportunity for his fans to help him out and figure out what went wrong. I've got my ideas, but what do you think? Post some suggestions on how to make this work, and come by Millennium Park tomorrow to see the more than 25 activities and presentations, including how the Museum of Science and Industry really puts Pop Rockets into action!


Author's Note: Sources:


Editor's Note: For more blogs from Dr. Rabiah, visit Science Chicago's website at: http://www.sciencechicagoblog.com


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