DALLAS TWP. — Three wispy scarves in a small wooden box should have been easy for a fourth-grader to lift — at least that is what Dallas Elementary students Brandon Lee and Hannah Elenbass expected at “The Magic of Science” assembly on Feb. 9.
Charles Murray, an instructor with Mobile Ed Productions and presenter of ‘The Magic of Science,’ took three scarves out of the box and challenged the students to lift it.
Lee and Elenbass single-handedly picked up the box.
Then, Murray placed the three scarves back in the box, which sat on a tray on a table.
The confident youngsters stepped up but could not lift the box.
The demonstration was not one of magic, but of science, Murray said.
The “Magic of Science” was designed to be an entertaining program to expose elementary students to STREAM concepts, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, said Abbie Youngblood, president of the Dallas Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization.
“We will learn different scientific methods in chemistry, math, optical illusions, vacuum, and physics,” Murray said.
Friday’s program was held for the morning kindergarten, first and fourth graders at 10 a.m. and a second show at 1 p.m. for the afternoon kindergarten, second, third and fifth-grade students at Dallas Elementary School.
Lee and Elenbass were perplexed as to why they could not lift the little wooden box after the three scarves were placed inside.
Murray revealed the secret — a suction cup under the wooden box created a vacuum seal on the tray, on which he leaned.
When the vacuum seal was released, the children could pick up the box.
“We know this is not magic but science,” Murray said.
The vacuum demonstration was just one of many the students enjoyed.
Fourth-grader Connor Hivish assisted in a demonstration which resulted in making artificial snow.
Murray held a zip-lock baggie filled with baking soda. Hivish poured water into the baggie. The container was sealed and shaken.
Murray dumped the bag’s white fluffy contents on to a tray. Hivish touched it and said it felt “cold.”
“We made artificial snow,” Murray said. “This is what movie studios use.”
Kindergarten teacher Rachael Dunn and kindergartners Michael Lamont and Olivia Wujcik volunteered to help with a physics lesson.
Dunn held a metal pipe, about 36 inches long. As she dropped a ball-bearing into the tube, Lamont tried to run and catch it before it hit the floor.
Lamont was unable to catch the fast-dropping ball.
Wujcik also tried to catch the ball but was unsuccessful.
Murray held the ball-bearing up and told the audience he could not believe the two children could not catch the ball-bearing and he was going to try.
He handed Dunn a small sphere-shaped item, and she dropped it into the tube.
In an overly exaggerated slow-motion movement, Murray made his way to the pipe and caught the ball.
The ball-bearing he used was a magnet and, as it rolled through the metal pipe, the “magnet was trying to expand its magnetic field, which slowed its descent, giving time to reach the pipe and catch the ball,” he said.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.