This is a time of year when I lose sleep. Will we have enough volunteers? (Yes, we would love to have you help if you’re interested!) Will all of the stuff be ready? Did we remember to load the trailer? Are the tents and tables repaired from last year? Do we have enough bubble solution and Oobleck?
There’s always something, and it makes me uneasy. Summer, for us, is a whole other kind of busy, the kind that’s like juggling or spinning plates.
But, then there’s stuff like this that makes my heart sing:
Isn’t it beautiful? This show three beams of light on a bent piece of paper (to make the rays of light look curved) so that they cross. We’ve been playing with colored light, mixing the red, green, and blue to satisfy all the detectors in your eyes and give you white. And, we can make other combinations, like in this photo:
where even the shadows make interesting color combinations. This gets me a jumping-up-and-down kind of excited. Even better, kids will get to play with this stuff on Monday, along with our lenses and mirrors and sunscope and filters and pinhole cameras and new microscopes and:
an infrared camera! Ever wonder what you look like if you could see only the heat that radiates from you? Or what pavement looks like compared to grass? Or what is going on with the dry ice that will be producing our bubbles? It’s stuff like this that gets me really, really excited. It certainly doesn’t help me sleep, but it makes me happy.
Our fantastic staff works like elves in the background, developing new activities and revamping the old ones. (Basically, they get to play with new stuff and new ideas, which is a good model for how science gets done.) There are more things coming as well. The stuff I’ve described here is just for “See it!” day, on Mondays. There are four other days of different activities for any given week as well.
I hope that we see lots of you — both with visible light and with infrared — at Lorin Farr Park on Monday. Or, some other day. (Take a look at our schedule.) And, watch this new webpage and blog, where we’ll continue to post news, photos, videos, and new resources that we’re working to develop to support activities that you can do at home. You can subscribe to this on the right; and you can also follow us on Facebook.
Stay tuned! More is coming soon.