Super Science Saturday

Super Science Saturday

November 10, 2014 - 2:24pm -- lili

Building a "dropsonde" to fly in a wind tunnel

Over a thousand children of all ages raced up and down the hallways of the Mesa Lab on Saturday, November 8th for one of the best ever turnouts for Super Science Saturday. This year the theme was “Measuring Weather,” and special attractions included the 13-ton NSF Doppler radar truck outfitted to chase severe weather anywhere, as well as a mobile CBS4 weather unit. Our thanks to the dozens of UCAR/NCAR employees who staffed exhibits on glacial ice melt, pollution from runoff, drones, geology, solar physics and many other topics. CSU’s “Little Shop of Physics” was an immensely popular attraction as always with hands-on exhibits to teach magnetism and sound waves, not to mention an entire darkened room that entertained jostling crowds with the physics of light and color. Meanwhile, serious science and silliness drew standing room only fans to a series of “wizard shows.” One other favorite was the “wind tunnel” where intent children (and many determined fathers) fashioned highly original and possibly ingenious dropsondes out of toilet paper rolls, Dixie cups, masking tape and pipe cleaners in an effort to beat the six second challenge in a wind tunnel. Did we mention the weather balloon? For all we know, with that kind of send off, it’s still sending data back to NCAR.