Edison students get excited demonstrations about science

Edison students get excited demonstrations about science

DANVILLE – Can a man tip an open container of ice water over three people's heads without getting them wet?

Students at Edison Elementary School know the answer is yes.

As some suggested, he could turn the liquid into gas, freeze it, even tip the container in outer space where there's no gravity.

Or, he could do what wacky science guy Steve Belliveau did at a school assembly on Monday: Take a square platform with long cords attached to the corners and joined together in a knot; place the container on the platform; then swing it a vertical circle.

"Aaahhh!" students shrieked, as they watched Belliveau slowly swing the contraption over the students, whom he made lie on the floor.

"Let's add some momentum to it," he said, swinging it faster until it rotated in a circle, demonstrating how the force provided by the tension in the cords creates enough friction to hold the container in place without spilling a drop of water.

"This is the same experiment that Sir Isaac Newton did," said Belliveau, who went on to test their knowledge of the scientist and his laws of motion.

The experiment is one of many in Belliveau's "Get Excited about Science" presentation, in which the Chicago man uses his engineering education, humor, music, props and audience participation to put on dramatic scientific experiments that demonstrate friction, static electricity, air and water pressure and other concepts. This week, he's bringing the show to elementary and middle schools courtesy of the Danville Public School Foundation.

More in Tuesday's News-Gazette.

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