Kicking off the Electrified Pickle!

Posted on July 16, 2014 by

You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a room full of little kids jump off their seats to go inhale from a smoking beaker full of blue liquid—that may have, if my memory serves me well, been described as “carbon dioxide burps.”

Kids and adults alike had a grand time at our opening for The Electrified Pickle! Although the smoking beaker of blue liquid didn’t happen until the end of the event, with the spectacular Extreme Jean show, the whole day was full of new experiences for our visitors.

More than just a pencil...graphite is a great conductor!

More than just a pencil…graphite is a great conductor!

From 11am to 3pm, we had three stations set up for experimental demonstrations that showcased the myriad ways to harness electricity through common household items. Our wonderful volunteers from the world of engineering made pencils into sliding light dimmer switches, potatoes into batteries, and, yes, pickles into glowing sources of light (and smell)!

Look at that pickle glow!

Look at that pickle glow! Many thanks to “In A Pickle” for donating these de-LIGHT-ful dills!

In addition to the demonstrations, we had hands-on stations where visitors could “get stuck in” conductive and insulating play dough and origami flowers and frogs that lit up with the help of LEDs and batteries.

Testing the difference between insulating and conductive play dough.

Testing the difference between insulating and conductive play dough.

Creating light up flower boxes!

Creating light up flower boxes!

GirlsRISEnetLogoBigSome of the funding that helped us put together the activities for the day came from a grant awarded to us by GirlsRise Net—an organization dedicated to encouraging girls to become interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.  There was no way we were passing up the opportunity to combine a day dedicated the power of electricity with Girl Power! Fortunate for us, the Baltimore metropolitan area has a wide network of female scientists and engineers, which we tapped into for volunteers to help explain the science behind the demonstrations. While we didn’t want to exclude boys from the day’s activities, we did want to strike an emphasis on the presence of women in science and engineering fields.

Potatoes as....batteries? Yup!

Potatoes as….batteries? Yup!

Inside the exhibit itself, visitors of all ages delighted in trying out scientific interactives that we had borrowed from one of our partners, the National Electronics Museum.

Checking out the interactives on loan from the National Electronics Museum.

Checking out the interactives on loan from the National Electronics Museum.

They're fun (and fascinating) for everyone!

They’re fun (and fascinating) for everyone!

MECU-Neighborhood_0At 5pm, we transitioned from our daytime activities to our evening Electrified Pickle Community Kick-off Party, generously supported by a MECU Neighborhood grant! We started the evening with the scientific stylings of Extreme Jean. She demonstrated some wacky aspects of science, such as manipulating air streams to enable her to fill out a 5 foot plastic bag with just one breath. And what science show would be complete without having some fun with dry ice?

Fun with dry ice!

Fun with dry ice!

It's a scientific playground with Extreme Jean!

It’s a scientific playground with Extreme Jean!

After the show, representatives from another one of our partners, Mosaic Makers, got us started on our community art project. With a little help from our friends and visitors, we will be making a mosaic that will be used to decorate our newest building at 5 Lloyd St. The mosaic will be out for visitors to add to for the next 5 weeks, as we continue with The Electrified Pickle.

Hard at work on our neighborhood mosaic!

Hard at work on our neighborhood mosaic!

Come check out the exhibit and more exciting workshops and demonstrations this Sunday, with Print This! For more information about the day and about the following three Sundays, check out the “Events” section of our website!

PRINT THIS! on Sunday, July 20th, 11am - 3pm.

abby krolikA blog post by Visitor Services Coordinator Abby Krolik. For more posts by Abby, click HERE.

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