Second was Keagan Parsons, playing an old wizard named Doctor Fate. He took a plastic solo cup, put plastic wrap over the mouth of the cup, and poked a hole in the bottom. He then took a hammer to dry ice, smashing it into smaller pieces. He filled up the cup mouth, with a rubber band holding the plastic wrap, and after filling it up a bit, he put dry ice into the hole, causing vapor to form. Then he went around flicking the plastic-wrapped end, causing the vapor in the cup to shoot out of the hole in the bottom, creating vapor rings.
Next were Lindsey Nixon and Kayla Watson, who were Bloody Mary and Harley Quinn, respectively. In this demonstration, they “summoned a pumpkin spirit,” and they took a jack o'lantern basket with the appropriate holes cut into it. They took a graduated cylinder of hydrogen peroxide and poured it into an unseen beaker inside the basket. Then, they added soap to a beaker to create bubbles that would help serve as a catalyst, added a tablet of sodium iodine into the hydrogen peroxide and soap solution, and covered the top with cardboard. After the girls waited a bit, the sodium iodine reacted strongly with the hydrogen peroxide due to the soap bubbles, creating an abundant amount of foam that soon filled up the basket and, having nowhere else to go, came out the holes in the basket.
After them, Trista Kormeier and Beth Schenk dressed up as the minions from the movie Despicable Me. Trista and Beth came up with a Bunsen burner, test tube, and other various items on a tray. Throughout the whole demonstration, they only communicated in the grunts and noises that the minions in the movie used to communicate with each other. They lit the Bunsen burner and put a tablet of potassium chlorate into the test tube and held it over the fire for a couple minutes while it melted. After it melted, they took a piece of candy and dropped it into the test tube. The candy reacted with the melted potassium chlorate and created a firework effect without the bang at the end: there were lots of sparks filling up the test tube as the source material grew bright with heat.
Up next was Dominick Pataky, who was personifying Michael Jackson. He brought up a lighter, a tub of water, soap, and a balloon with hydrogen inside of it. He put soap into the water to create bubbles and then released the hydrogen into the water, creating hydrogen bubbles. Then, he had an assistant, Mrs. Oelrichs, come up and cover her hands in the water/hydrogen bubbles mix. He took a light and briefly lit the liquid on her hands on fire, which was immediately burned and used up, creating a brief, harmless explosion.
After him, Hannah Kruse was up under the stage name of Hannah La Fey from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She brought up two beakers, one of water and the other of alcohol, and a Bunsen burner with her. She then asked for a dollar and received one from Mrs. Oelrichs. She then mixed the alcohol and water to create a 50/50 solution of alcohol and water. She stirred the dollar bill in it with a rod, pulled it out, and set it on fire. The alcohol burned first, leaving behind the dollar intact and unburned. She also repeated this with a five dollar bill, to prove that it can work it anything.
Kyle Ruediger was the final act of the show, and he was acting like the basketball player Meadowlark Lemon. He took a pumpkin that had been pre carved to create the iconic jack o'lantern face, with the pieces put back to make it look like a whole pumpkin. After setting up a protective screen in front of the 4th graders, he put calcium carbide into the pumpkin and stuck a lighter into the back. He then lit the solution, creating a violent reaction that involved a loud bang, and the pre-carved sections of the pumpkin were blown out, effectively “carving” the pumpkin using fire. This was a big deal, considering this demonstration had a past of never working in the show.
After all the demonstrations were over, Willy had everyone who demonstrated lineup and had the children vote on their favorite. The winner was Kyle Ruediger with his pumpkin carving with explosions. Snacks were passed out --chocolate chip cookies and kool-aid-- but not before a “magic spell” was cast on them by making another bowl of dry ice combined with water. After snacks were handed out, Willy asked if they had a good time, and they enthusiastically agreed.
“I didn’t know any of that stuff was possible, and it was really cool,” said Mikayla McFerrin, a 4th grader, when asked about the demonstration. “All this cool stuff got me interested in science, and I can’t wait to do this myself!” When asked about her favorite part, she replied that she loved the minions and how they communicated similar to in the movies.
“I thought it went really well. Meadowlark’s explosion was the best clincher we could have done. I felt like as a host I did really well, as with keeping with the children. Also, I was surprised by the amount of kids here, but I thought I handled well under pressure,” said Willy Schejbel. When asked about how the experiments went, he replied “Most of them went as exactly as planned, but a few were duds. Two of eight could have gone better.”
Keagan Parsons also had some words to say about the show: “It ran really smooth; everything went according to plan.” When asked about Kyle’s demonstration and how it was infamous for never working, he replied: “I expected Kyle’s to work, but not that well. Worked about as good as it can get.” When asked about thoughts on his own experiment, he had only a couple words to say: “I thought my experiment worked how I wanted it to work.”
Lastly, Mrs. Oelrichs, the director of this show, commented. “I thought it went great. I’m proud of how these guys worked to prepare for it and how they performed. Most of the experiments went as well as can be, mainly Kyle’s, since that was the first time it has worked since I’ve done it.”
Everyone considered the show to be a huge success, with all of its demonstrations working in the way intended and wowing tons of 4th graders as well.
-by Robbie Cichon