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Museum Teaching The Science Of Cool

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Outside or inside, the heat wave is a cool excuse to study science at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

“Why would we do cool science week this week at the museum?” a museum employee standing in front of a steaming container full of liquid nitrogen asks a group of children and parents seated in a semi-circle in front of her.  Parent Dave Edes knew the answer, “Its 180 degrees outside!” he said.

The recently-remodeled museum is using the summer heat to draw people into the science of hot and cold.

What better time to answer the nagging question: Which will melt first, an ice cream bar, a dreamsicle or a popsicle?

The answer:  “The ice cream melted first,” a boy said as a group of kids gathered around the melting, frozen treats as the dripped into pans on a scalding hot sidewalk.

The popsicle melted last because it has more pure water in it.

In another experiment, a museum employee slowly lowers a balloon into a steaming vat of liquid nitrogen bubbling away at 320 degree below zero.  “What’s going to happen to the balloon?” the employee asked the kids gathered around to watch.  “Kablammo!” one child said.

“Kablammo? You think its going to pop?” the employee asked.

“They put balloons in the nitrogen and i thought it was going to pop but it didn’t,” said 7-year old Hannah Edes of Keller.

In fact the balloons appear to deflate as one after another disappears into the container as the air inside is compressed by the super cold around it.  “The liquid nitrogen can make the molecules pack even tighter together,” the experiment conductor tells the children and parents.

Even adults warm up to the experiments.   “I was like, ‘Wow! That’s very cool!'” said Edes. “So, its very interesting. You learn things you really didn’t know.”

“You saw some expressions on the parents faces they were learning as well,” said Cassie Threadgill, spokesperson for the museum. “Not just the kids reactions but parents who probably hadn’t experienced that since fifth grade and they’re learning it again here at the science museum.”

The Cool Science Exhibit runs daily through Saturday.

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