Using simple items you have in your bathroom and kitchen, you can extract DNA from fruits like bananas, kiwi or strawberries. Read more
What happens when you torch a towel soaked in a flammable liquid? This result may surprise you.
The Flame Tube (aka Rubens’ tube) allows us to “visualize sound waves” based on the gas pressure inside a steel tube. Read more
A tremendous amount of energy is released when you allow hydrogen and oxygen gas to combine to form water. Check out this demonstration.
During the month of October visitors will be able to dissect an actual cow eye in the science studio at Imagination Station. This is an amazing experience that you have to check out. Learn more in the video below or in this recent Toledo Blade article about our Spooky Science event. Read more
Dr. Khase Wilkinson explains the importance of the foot to your overall health.
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, but do you know why? Dr. Roy Glover, Chief Medical Officer for BODIES REVEALED, and Dr. James Tita, Chief of Pulmonary Care, Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center explain why.
The journal Perception reports on an interesting visual effect called the “Flashed Face Distortion Effect.” Apparently an undergraduate student was working on setting up an experiment that required a series of faces all scaled in such a way that the eyes of each image aligned. As he flipped through the images, he noticed that some of the faces began to appear distorted in unusual ways. Researchers are now working on experiments to shed more light on exactly what is happening in the visual processing system to create the effect. Read more
Introduction to the Nervous System Gallery by Dr. Glover from Premier Exhibitions.
What does your nervous system do? Dr. Susan Klarr explains.
How much does your brain hold? More from Dr. Klarr.
What does alcohol do to your brain? Does it really kill brain cells?
Got Muscles? How do you get bigger muscles? How can you burn more calories? Dr. Susan Klarr, from Mercy College explains.
Want to burn more calories all of the time?
Oobleck is a suspension of cornstarch and water that can behave like a solid or a liquid depending on how much pressure you apply. Try to grab some in your hand and it will form a solid ball in your palm just until you release the pressure, then it will flow out between your fingers. Materials that behave this way are classified as non-Newtonian liquids because their flow properties are not described by a constant viscosity. Read more
How does cholesterol affect the heart and what can you do to control it? What causes a heart attack? Dr. Thomas G. Welch, Chief Medical Officer for Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, explains.
How can you control your cholesterol?
What happens during a heart attack?
This week’s videos are on the circulatory system. Dr. Barbara Stoos, Associate Dean of Science at Mercy College of Northwest Ohio, discusses the function of the circulatory system and how we can keep ours healthy. Dr. Glover, Chief Medical Officer for BODIES REVEALED reveals how the specimens in the Circulatory Gallery are prepared. Read more
Not only do we get WTVG meteorologist Jay Berschback to lay on a bed of nails, we also smash a cinder block on top of him. Check it out! Read more
Using just air pressure – not compressed air – you can accelerate a ping pong ball to amazing speeds. Fast enough to rip through a soda can.
The cannon is a long PVC tube loaded up with a ping pong ball. To fire it off, both ends are sealed with a single layer of clear tape. Next, a vacuum pump is used to remove most of the air from the cannon tube. When the tape nearest the ball is ripped open (punctured by a knife) 14.7 pounds per square inch of air pressure rushes in and slams into the ball. With no air molecules in front of the ball, it can accelerate to speeds of nearly 300 miles per hour.
Of course if the ball does not rip through the can, you can always rip a soda can in half this way.
The space bag is a very thin black tube that you fill with air on a sunny day. As the bag warms in the sun the air inside also warms and slightly expands. Just like a hot air balloon, the bag begins to rise. Read more
We live in a ocean of air, in fact, we live at the bottom of that ocean of air. All those miles of air above us end up exerting a force of about 14.7 pounds over every square inch of our bodies. We take it for granted since the force per area (pressure) is the same all around us. Things start to get interesting when there is an imbalance in that pressure. What better way to find out what an imbalance in pressure feels like than to vacuum-pack WTVG-13 weekend anchor Christina Williams? Read more
This week Dr. Roy Glover talks about the exhibition in general. Dr. Glover is the Chief Medical Director for the exhibition and has been working with the exhibit since it began touring. Read more
Acid/Base indicators make cool things like disappearing ink possible. But, how do you get disappearing ink to fade as fast as possible? You saturate it with CO2 from a fire extinguisher…Dave Holmes from WTVG-13 had no idea what was coming. Read more
If you make some soapy bubbles filled with a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gas and then add a flame, what do you think will happen? You get an insanely loud detonation of hydrogen and oxygen. Seriously, you have to be there to really experience the amount of energy released in this reaction. It’s like a gunshot going off in your hands! Crazy Loud. Read more
Is there a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to freeze some flowers in liquid nitrogen? Probably, but flash freezing flowers and then watching them break like glass is pretty cool. Read more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2011
Repurposed Art & Recycling Science
Visitors Help to Create a Permanent Mural at Imagination Station
Toledo, Ohio – Imagination Station has teamed up with artist Michelle Stitzlein, to produce a beautiful new mural for the science center. The mural will be made completely of bottle caps and we need your help to complete it. Stitzlein will be at the science center throughout this weekend, May 6-8, helping visitors take repurposing and recycling to a whole new artistic level. And when we are all through, the mural will be placed in it’s permanent home inside Imagination Station.
Imagination Station has been collecting bottle caps from everyday household items such as milk jugs, sour cream/yogurt lids, detergent lids, water bottle lids, shampoo caps, etc. Recycling clubs from Hill View Elementary, Maumee Valley Country Day School, Fairfield Elementary, Chase STEM Academy, St. Francis de Sales High School, East Side Central Elementary and Monclova Primary School have assisted with the cap collection and helped us collect more than 10,000 bottle caps in just the last 2 months.
The BottleCap Mural was funded by a grant from Target in recognition of our efforts in educating children in science. “At Target, our local grants are making a difference in communities across the country,” said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target. “We’re proud to partner with the Imagination Station as part of our ongoing commitment to strengthen communities where our guests and team members live and work.”
Stitzlein is from Baltimore, Ohio and graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design with a Bachelor’s in Fine Art in 1989. She is known for sculptures made of recycled goods and is especially famous for her “Moth” series.
Imagination Station, located on the downtown Toledo riverfront, is a science center dedicated to delivering science and technology based programming to youth and their families throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. All activities are included in the cost of admission.
WHAT: Repurposed Art & Recycling Science
WHEN: Saturday, May 6-8, 2011
WHERE: Imagination Station
1 Discovery Way
Toledo, Ohio 43604
For more information, please call 419.244.2674 or visit imaginationstationtoledo.org.
Making an Air Cannon is super easy and you probably have everything you need at home or in the garage right now. Learn how it’s done. Read more
A “naked egg” is an egg that has no shell. Let me say that again, an egg with no shell. This is not something you normally run across and even when I show a naked egg to someone they often just don’t get the idea that the shell is gone – yet the egg stays intact. You might want to check out the anatomy of an egg to get an idea what we are dealing with. Read more
For the holiday we are exploding eggs filled with hydrogen gas. Check it out. Read more
When you combine a steel tube filled with a flammable gas and sound waves you can create a pretty cool display of the sound pressure inside the tube. Check this out.
Can an ordinary egg support the weight of a 30 pound cement block? That was the question that Jeff and Joe, two of our Team members, were investigating this past Saturday in the Science Studio. They discovered that a single egg is not up to the task of supporting the brick. It just made a big mess on the bottom of the brick when it was crushed. (Actually, a visitor at the Science Studio insisted we try just one egg to see what would happen.)
So the question is how many eggs would you need to support the brick? After cracking a number of eggs in the name of science, the smallest number of eggs they could get to support a block was eight. Check out the video to see how they did it. Read more
April 1-30, 2011
OPEN 7 days a week in April!
Spring Break is here and we have tons of activities to keep you busy!
In Science Studio throughout the month will be EGGciting activities:
- “Cook” eggs in liquid nitrogen
- “Suck” an egg into a jar
- Soak eggs in vinegar and watch how they progress every day
- Squeeze an egg without breaking it
- Learn about egg density (floating and sinking eggs)
- Great egg carton take home activities!
Tons of EGGcitement throughout the month!
Eggs are fragile (and messy when they break!). Learn about materials engineering while protecting an egg during the classic egg drop challenge. Then we’ll push your family’s engineering skills to see if your egg can survive a journey down the zip line. Make sure you dress appropriately for this potentially messy workshop!
We will have 101.5 The River hanging out from 11am-2pm.
April 22nd & 23rd
Decorate your own easter eggs in Science Studio.
Closed for Easter.
Celebrate Earth Day with The University of Toledo and Imagination Station!
Ripping a pop can in half with your bare hands is not all that hard if you know a bit of chemistry and a little about how soda cans are fabricated. The key, is the plastic liner that coats the inside of the can. In order to protect the aluminum can from the carbonic acid in sodas, can manufacturers coat the inside of a can with a plastic liner. The liner also protects the inside of beer cans as well.
Now, I suppose, if you were really strong you could rip any can in half with your bare hands. In order to make it a for-sure thing for this demonstration, I used a bit of chemistry knowledge to etch the can.
It’s an interesting question. Before 1982, diapers relied on the absorbancy of cotton, paper and sponges to hold the, um, liquid in place. Unfortunately, those materials can only hold about 20 times their weight in water. The average diaper doesn’t really weight that much, so 20 times not very much equals leaks. Read more
It’s March Madness and we are getting crazy ourselves by dunking a basketball in super cold liquid nitrogen. What happens when you cool a basketball down to 320 degrees below zero? Watch the video to find out. Read more
Why explode an egg? Besides the expected “well, just because we can” answer, there’s actually some interesting science of combustion in the process. Hydrogen needs oxygen to combust, or burn. How it undergoes combustion depends on the amount of oxygen present. Read more
Can you balance an egg only on the vernal equinox? Of course not! you can balance an egg on its end any day of the year. Check out what else you can do with a few eggs at home. Read more
Amazing Milk is a fun “play with your food” moment. Milk is full of tiny clumps of fat. If you add a dash of dish detergent and some food coloring to a plate of milk something interesting starts to happen. Read more
We have just passed through the 2011 peak flu season according to Google flu trends as well as the Center for Disease Control. This reminded me that washing your hands is one of the simplest things anyone can do to stop the spread of disease. It’s also one of those things that most people don’t do as often as they should. I thought it would be interesting to test some common surfaces around an office for bacteria. Even better would be to test some spots at abc13 – the host of our Imagine It segments. What do you think would have the highest bacterial count – the toilet seat or the microwave start button? Read more
OK, I have to admit that we really, really like the classic elephants toothpaste demonstration at Imagination Station. Combine a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap with a catalyst like sodium iodide and you get a foaming tower of, well, foam!
We like it so much that we do it everyday as part of our Method to the Madness demonstration. We have featured it on our weekly science segment Imagine-it on WTVG13 and on an episode of WTOL AM Saturday where we re-branded it “Dinosaur Toothpaste” because of the fossil exhibit we had at the science center at the time. Heck, we have even done it inside a pumpkin for Halloween where it squirts out the face to make a foamy mess. Read more
As part of Engineering Week 2011, we challenge local meteorologist Jay Berschback to build a stable tower on our Earthquake platform exhibit. Using only foam noodles and some cross-bracing he must construct a stable tower at least 5 stories tall. Find out if he can meet the challenge. Read more
Acid-base indicators provide a great platform for a variety of at home chemistry experiments that anyone can do. One of the simplest indicators that is readily available is red cabbage. It turns out that the colored pigment that gives the cabbage it color is a natural acid-base indicator. The red color of cabbage comes from a molecule called anthocyanin. This naturally occurring dye changes it color depending on the the presence of an acidic or alkaline (basic) substance. Read more
Find out what kinds of glass auto engineers use for the windshield and side windows of your car – and how they break. Read more
What happens if you take away all the air pressure from the outside of a marshmallow? It gets bigger. Normally, 14.7 pounds per square inch of air pressure is pressing on the outside of the marshmallow – and 14.7 pounds per square inch of pressure is pressing outward from the tiny air bubbles inside the mallow. Read more
We use our eyes to view our world. While our eyes are amazing detectors of light, they only “see” a tiny slice of the whole picture of electromagnetic energy that is all around us – we call what our eyes see “light.” Read more
Many iron fortified cereals contain tiny iron fillings. I’m talking about plain old elemental iron, the kind you would find in a nail, train or car, in your breakfast cereal. It turns out that this form of iron is ideal for a cereal additive. Read more
Our newest Learning World, Engineer It!, is now open. This 5,000 square foot space features 25 new exhibits about engineering in three topics areas: Wind, Water and Structures. Read more
Sloan combines history and science when talking about the origin of the modern breathalyzer – the Drunk-o-meter. Just after prohibition the need for a quantitative way to assess the drunkenness of an individual resulted in the Drunk-o-meter which then lead to the modern breathalyzer. Read more
For today’s Imagine It segment, I thought it would be fun to talk about how your brain processes the information that your eyes send it. The Trizonal Space Warper is a pretty cool tool to explore this because it illustrates how the neurons in your brain can become fatigued when you send them a continuous input. Read more
Food calories are a measure of how much energy is contained in the food item. A very graphic way to visualize how much energy is in a handful of food is to burn it and observer the flame. We try this with a handful of cheesepuffs and Total cereal. Read more
This week Sloan and Jay create a couple of foam volcanoes using a solution of concentrated hydrogen peroxide and some dish soap. Using super concentrated solutions allows the reaction to happen so fast that the foam literally hits the ceiling in our demonstration theater. Check out the video. Read more
Making ice cream at home is actually pretty easy to do and you don’t need any fancy equipment if you’re just making small batches for fun. This is a great Saturday afternoon activity. You’ll be surprised at how good it actually tastes. Just keep in mind this is not low-fat low-calorie. Read more
Methane is a flammable gas that is lighter than air. Often fire fighter have to worry about not only flames that come from the ground, but also dangerous flammable vapors that are lighter than air. Read more
What could be more cool than making a lava lamp with stuff you already have? With just a few items from your kitchen you can create a bubbling version of a lava lamp. To get started gather up some vegetable oil, water, food coloring, a plastic bottle and some effervescing (the bubbling kind) antacid tablets. Read more
Oobleck is a suspension of cornstarch and water that can behave like a solid or a liquid depending on how much pressure you apply. Try to grab some in your hand and it will form a solid ball in your palm just until you release the pressure, then it will flow out between your fingers. Materials that behave this way are classified as non-Newtonian Read more
Did you eat a few to many chips loaded with a spicy dip? Perhaps just too much during the Game (Ohio vs. Michigan) and are in need of a bit of antacid relief? Check out this video to see just how an antacid works to reduce the acid level in your stomach. One thing I forgot to mention is that Milk of Magnesia is also a laxative … so with all meds read the label before consuming…! Read more
While it looks like Sloan is changing water into wine, what’s really taking place is a chemical clock reaction. Two reactions take place at the same time – reaction number one is trying to create a dark liquid, reaction number two is consuming a chemical needed to turn the liquid dark. After a few seconds the second reaction runs out and the liquid turns an inky black.
A little alcohol in a 5 gallon water jug will combust in an interesting way when a flame is dropped inside. Read more
Super absorbers were developed in the 1960′s by the Department of Agriculture as a product to spread over crops to even out the drench-drought cycle. This class of polymers is capable of absorbing up to 400 times their weight in water. This amazing ability to hold liquids in a gel eventually led to their use in baby diapers, plant soil, grass seed and those fun “grow creatures” toys that swell in water. Read more
What happens if you tilt a room’s floor at 25 degrees, but keep the rest of the room (door frames, windows, etc) at the correct perspective? We call it distorted gravity – or maybe that is more what it feels like. Your eyes and ears get conflicting signals and that can lead to only one thing – a queasy stomach. It’ something you just have to experience in person to fully appreciate.
What would happen if you created a chemical reaction inside a carved pumpkin that generates a whole lot of foam? Watch the video to find out. Question is, what reaction would you choose? We thought it would be fun to use a 35% solution of hydrogen peroxide (that’s more than 10 times more concentrated than what you have at home) and some soap to catch the oxygen gas that is generated. Read more
Solid carbon dioxide is often called dry ice because at normal atmospheric pressure it never forms a liquid state. Instead of changing from a solid to a liquid and then to a gas, it jumps right from solid to gas. This is called sublimation. Dry ice is very cold, around 109 degrees below zero on the Fahrenheit scale. That’s cold enough to freeze flesh and cause frostbite which it why we always wear gloves when handling this stuff. Read more
Sodium Alginate is derived from seaweed and is used as a gelling agent in foods like pie fillings, jellies and even green olive stuffing’s. We think it’s just fun to play with. When you add the alginate to a calcium chloride salt solution it turns into a jet nearly instantly. You can make tiny spheres (or caviar) if you drip it, or if you squirt a solid stream it will turn gel into a “wormy” tube filled with a liquid interior.
The Boyo is a unique experience – you become much like a yo-yo where you do all the moving. It looks simple enough, you add some energy to the overhead flywheels and then they pull you off the ground a few inches. If you keep adding energy by pulling on the handles, eventually you will be pulled 13 feet off the ground. It takes a bit of practice, so don’t expect to get to the top in one, two or even six pulls. Read more
Flammable liquids can generate invisible vapors that are also flammable. These vapors can be more dangerous than a liquid spill because they are invisible and can travel a distance to an ignition source. Imagine you spill some paint thinner in your basement, as you clean up the liquid, the vapors can move across the floor to a pilot light. As the vapors ignite the flames will flash back to the liquid spill – and you! Read more
These ceramic tiles protect the space shuttle as it renters the Earth’s atmosphere at speeds over 17,000 miles per hour. They are capable of withstanding temperatures as high as 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit as the orbiter returns to the surface. A secondary purpose for the tiles is to protect the shuttle from the alternating heat and cold experienced while orbiting the earth. They are amazing insulators! Read more
If you were watching WTVG13 on Saturday, September 4th then you saw Imagination Station’s Senior Programs Officer, Sloan Eberly, talk about the hurricane chamber. Imagination Station always wants to connect with their visitors and explain more about the exhibits that they have in the building. So I am going to discuss what hurricanes are, the hurricane chamber, the hurricane scale and finally I am going to let you in on a little secret about the hurricane chamber (Just between us of course!).