Where Can You Watch A Trash Bin Explode With Ping Pong Balls?

Apr 12, 2013

Students learning about a weather balloon at last year's North Carolina Science Festival.
Credit NC Science Festival

At the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at UNC Chapel Hill this morning! The experiment is one of many happening this week and next as a part of the North Carolina Science Festival, a statewide series of science-related happenings that began on April 5. Today, the Festival is encouraging people to participate in Experi-Minute, an attempt to engage all North Carolinians in some kind of science-related activity for at least one minute on Friday morning.

The experiment at the Morehead planetarium involved putting liquid nitrogen into a barrel of ping pong balls, and the result was a loud BANG and a lot of covered ears.  Educators conducted a preliminary version of the experiment earlier in the week, and recorded it in this video:

The North Carolina Science Festival kicked off on April 5 with a statewide stargazing party, and it will run until April 21. So far, events have included building a solar-powered cockroach, isolating the DNA of a strawberry, bird walks in Wilmington, a talk about the Higgs-Boson in Charlotte, and opportunities to learn about bottlenose dolphins in Beaufort.  On April 18 and 20, celebrity chef and television host Alton Brown will speak in Durham and Charlotte, respectively. For a full list of events across the state, visit the NC Science Festival website.