As one of my all-time favorite science heroes, Steve Spangler, can prove, science can be (not just a little, but a whole huge amount of) fun. If you have never heard of Steve Spangler, I recommend that you hop over to his YouTube page right now, and watch at least one video. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
See fun and science. Together. If you liked Steve’s videos, you should check out his book Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes, which you can, of course, find at the Outpost.
But wait, the fun doesn’t stop there!
For our first Friday, we will be looking at building catapults and testing how far we can make a marshmallow fly. For our last Friday in July, we will look at non-Newtonian fluids. Katherine will be on hand to talk about Sir Isaac Newton’s lesser known quirks. And what about in between? Well, I guess you’ll just have to stop by and see for yourself.
TTFN –Stephani, Young Adult Services Aficionado, Teen Outpost at the Highlands-Shelby Park Library
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Check out this video of a 'chain reaction' of books in the Main Lobby:
We hope that you were able to join in on the fun!
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Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff and The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington.
Paper Valentine is about a girl named Hannah who is living through one of the hottest Julys on record. And her best friend Lillian died six months before from anorexia. Plus there is a serial killer, a.k.a. the Valentine Killer, on the loose in town. Last, but not least, Lillian is now haunting Hannah and bugging her to investigate the mysterious deaths of the girls who are the serial killer's victims. Creepy in a dead-best-friend-haunting-you-while-a-serial-killer's-on-the-loose kind of way.
The Dead and Buried is about Jade, whose family has just moved into a new house in a new town. Jade is happy about the new house and about the fresh start for her and her family. Unfortunately, the house is haunted by the ghost of a girl who died there and wants to know who killed her--and who doesn't care what she has to do to get the truth and to get her revenge.
-Emily Mauldin, Middletown Branch
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Last week in our discussion on energy, we briefly mentioned that plants are able to convert the sun's energy into plant mass, now let's look at that process, called photosynthesis, in better detail.
Photosynthesis: a Chemical Reaction
The illustration above shows a simplification of what is happening in the natural world involving photosynthesis. We see that the energy from the sun's light (photons) creates a chemical reaction that combines (synthesizes) Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H20) to create some form of carbohydrate sugar (CH2O)n and leftover Oxygen (O2).
We list the equation out below, so that you can see the overall process. In our balanced reaction, we see that glucose (C6H12O6) is our representative of a carbohydrate. The important thing here is that the byproducts of this process are extremely important for life on Earth. We have to ingest carbohydrates and oxygen to have energy to live. When our bodies metabolize carbohydrates like glucose, we oxidize sugars to release energy for physiological movement (putting our bodies in motion). The byproduct of this process is CO2 which can then be stored again during photosynthesis.
For a more in depth look at the various types of chemical reactions, check out the Khan Academy video series.
Bringing It All Back Home
Again, what does this have to do with technology? Last time, we saw that when fossilized carbohydrates (hyrdocarbons--CnH(2n+2)) are burned, stored energy is released in the form of heat. That energy is converted into electricity that powers our electrical devices. The photosynthesis of hydrocarbons is the foundation for our electrical power.
For plants to continue to grow, they need balanced access to the key components of photosynthesis: water, sunlight, and Carbon dioxide (other elements like Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are crucial as well as you shall see later this summer). That balance is the basis of all gardening and agriculture. There are quite a few resources out there to help people find that balance and make their garden the most productive.
Check out these tech resources to balance light and watering in a garden and experience photosynthesis with a deeper understanding:
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Friday, June 14, 6-9 p.m. Main Library, 301 York St.Join us for the 3rd annual Survivor Night at the Library, featuring: Mad Science, Chain Reactions, Catapults & Tower Building, Scary Stories, Kitchen Science, Michael Jackson’s Thriller... and a whole lot more!
The event is free - click here to register. Ages 12-19.
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