Day 3: The cloud of science


For the first time since I left this school six years ago, I made an all school announcement. There’s something about this school that makes me, a somewhat introverted person, totally comfortable making silly announcements to a crowd of 300 students. Since I left, I was never able to recapture the inspiration or confidence I needed to make an announcement before the whole school, so it’s good to be back to recapture this feeling.

Today’s announcement was an easy one—we’re restarting the science club, and to get everyone excited we’re making liquid nitrogen ice cream this Sunday, so a colleague and I did a few demos to build interest. This photo, what Andy Rundquist terms the “cloud of science” is produced by adding LN2 to boiling water, and it fizzled a bit (update: @bohacekp says it’s better to add the boiling water to the LN2, and make the drop from 1m or so). Anything with LN2 is a crowd pleaser. All it took for me to get 25 L was to make a phone call to the physics department of our local university—they loaned me a dewar and gave me 25 L for free, and I’ve experienced similar generosity from many other colleges and universities, so I encourage you to give it a try.


About John Burk

The ramblings of a physics teacher.
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One Response to Day 3: The cloud of science

  1. I’m a total introvert, but as a teacher I can be totally silly. You should see my hot-molecule dance (compared to how cold molecules dance) for example. Of course, that means I need down-time away from people interactions. Some weekends I don’t leave the house!

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