Last Friday, Jonathan Hartley, also known as the Kalahari Scientist, gave a spectacular science demonstration, that left the students of Rainbow Primary School excited and in awe.
Using common house hold items, with innovative and energetic activities, The Kalahari Scientist performed a number of experiments that left the Rainbow Primary School students on the edge of their seats. Some of his demonstrations included Snow in Botswana; this was an experiment in which Hartley showed how super absorbent polymers work.
By adding half a cup of the polymer and three cups of water, Hartley was able to produce what appeared to be ‘snow,’ for the first time in Botswana.
“Science is the study of the world around us,” said enthusiastic Hartley. Our job as science educators is to demonstrate to students just how incredible, magnificent and awe inspiring the world is, he added.
The next demonstration left many baffled. Ever heard of walking on shells? Well Hartley, took it to the next level, with students and teachers required to walk on open cartons filled with ‘fragile’ eggs.
To the amazement of the students, the eggs did not break.
The explanation: even though eggs have thousands of tiny holes in them, they have the ability to absorb pressure.
There shock absorbing properties come from the ‘albumin’ or yoke, as well as the arch shape of the egg.
Hartley explained that eggs hold a fragile little life within them, yet the packaging is hardy enough to withhold exterior pressure, while still being fragile enough to be broken by a single peck of a chick within them; An amazing demonstration of packaging.
The highlight of the day was the liquid nitrogen explosion. Hartley used liquid nitrogen to explode a drum of water with 100 Litres of water in it.
Despite the drum being over 100kg in weight, it shot a meter into the air, much to the shock and delight of students.
This demonstration was used to explain to students how a gas will take up much more volume than a liquid.
Some students had this to say about the show; “I wish the Kalahari Scientist would come every Friday, I wish I was a scientist.” Another said, “It makes me love science so much. Without these demonstrations I would not have known how interesting science is.”
Hartley pointed out that he does demonstrations throughout Southern African, with the goal of stimulating minds, nurturing creativity and sparking the imaginations of students.
“When I see students come out from the presentations more excited and passionate about science, then I feel my work is done,” beamed Hartley.