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Busting into science

The culminating experiment during the June 18 “Myth Busting 101” tested whether students could power a calculator by connecting it to four potatoes.

District 833 students were able to connect with their inner Adam Savages and Jamie Hynemans last week.

Students attended a District 833 Community Education camp June 17-20, called “Myth Busting 101,” inspired by the popular Discovery Channel television show hosted by Savage and Hyneman.

The camp functions similar to the television show in that participants performed various experiments to prove or disprove, or “bust,” various science myths, legends and “old wives’ tales.”

“There’s a little more to it than just what the show has,” said Allyson McCormack, of Science Explorers, who put on the camp. “The students see why these experiments actually work.”

During the four-day camp students performed roughly 20 experiments, McCormack said. Tests proved that M&Ms indeed melt in your mouth — not in your hand, that Mentos candies cause soda to explode, that a calculator can be powered by a potato and that a door handle can be dirtier than a toilet.

McCormack said the various myths all address different science areas including biology, chemistry, physics and even some math.

Even though this is the first year Community Education has offered “Myth Busting 101,” the camp has been tremendously popular, McCormack said.

Last week’s camp had 13 students.

“Kids like to figure things out,” McCormack said. “The camp isn’t demonstration, it’s active hands on participation. Kids get to do each and every thing.”

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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