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Copywrite 2001-2004, California Science Center
Media Contact:  Shell Amega or Paula Wagner
December 7, 2000
"Science Spectacular" Lives Up to its Name with Impressive Demonstrations that Explode, Flame and Furiously Foam

Science Spectacular is a new weekend program at the California Science Center designed to help develop public interest in science through large-scale, dramatic demonstrations. Performed on a grand stage measuring 24' by 12' with a backdrop suspended from the floor above, the experiments have been chosen for their high audio/visual impact. The first show in the series centers around the theme of chemistry, and future shows will feature other science themes. The show has 5 demonstrations, including:

The Exploding Egg - An empty chicken egg, with a hole at its top and bottom, is filled with hydrogen. As the hydrogen escapes, the top hole is lit, but the fire is too small to be seen. As more hydrogen escapes, atmospheric gas enters the bottom hole. When the mixture of hydrogen to oxygen is just right, the egg suddenly and unpredictably explodes!

Methane Mamba - With the help of a volunteer from the audience, methane gas is forced out of an inflatable chair, through a hose and into a container of soapy water. The methane bubbles, which are lighter than air, float. A growing, vertical column of bubbles sways with the air currents. And for a finale, the bubble column will be set on fire, showing that methane is also flammable.

The Foaming Volcano - A large glass cylinder is partially filled with a strong hydrogen peroxide solution. Liquid soap is added, followed by potassium iodide. In an instant, the mixture turns reddish-brown then erupts out of the top of the cylinder, creating a huge, steaming, soapy mess.

Why: The California Science Center makes informal science learning accessible to children and their families through exhibitions and public programs. Demonstrations such as these should only be conducted by trained personnel in a safe environment, such as a science center and are not suitable for duplication at home.
Where: California Science Center—Edgerton Court
700 State Drive - Exposition Park
Los Angeles
Parking is available for $6 in the guest lot at 39th & Figueroa Street
When: Science Spectacular begins Saturday, December 9, 2000 and continues each weekend
Shows are scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.

Demonstrations are conducted by presenters from the Education Department.

Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
General admission is free for exhibits; IMAX ticket prices range from $3.75 to $7.50. For general information, phone (323) SCIENCE (724-3623).
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