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For Fox Meadow Students, Science Is ‘Cool’



May 02, 2019

If you dip a banana in liquid nitrogen, will it freeze to the point where you could use it as a hammer? This and other fascinating questions were explored at Fox Meadow Middle/High School in Yorktown recently when a representative from Wondergy, a Philadelphia-based company, presented its Cool Science program.
 
“So many people think they are not scientists,” said presenter Ken Fink, addressing Fox Meadow students. “But all of science is trying out a theory and then doing an experiment over and over to prove that theory. We’ve been doing that since we were babies and dropped something to see if it would fall. A baby does that repeatedly to see if they will get the same outcome. That is science.”
 
Fink explored molecules, evaporation, and what happens when you freeze things. Sporting a can of liquid nitrogen, Fink poured it into a glass container. “How can you tell whether this is hot or cold,” he asked students, who responded that they could see the frost; the air went down instead of up, as heated steam would; and when you blow on the container, you could feel the cold air.
 
Students asked a flood of questions and offered to help Fink test his theses. Isaiah Thompson, Yonkers, volunteered to dip a banana in the liquid nitrogen to see what would happen. The banana froze when the temperature was lowered below its freezing point.
 
“Will the banana be hard enough to hammer into this piece of wood?” asked Fink. Isaiah, who guessed it would be, proceeded to use the frozen banana to (successfully) hammer the nail into the wood. Science, it turns out, is cool.
 
Fox Meadow High School student Isaiah Thompson hammers a frozen banana into a piece of wood provided by Cool Science presenter Ken Fink.