Tyler values exposure to science at an early age. As Professor Tyler, he designs programs that he presents at the Williamsburg Regional Library; these programs help children understand science and, more importantly, get excited about it. Some of his programs are described below.
Read On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne
Craft: painting with black light paint
We see things because light bounces off of things and comes to us. But what is light really? Light is a wave, and properties of the wave tell us about the color and brightness of the light. (Make waves using a jumprope.) Sometimes, the colors that we see are made up of lots of other colors. (Use diffraction gratings to see rainbow. Then, look at a hydrogen lamp to see that there are only lines of light, not a regular rainbow.) In addition to what we can see, there are many different colors we cannot see. Like x-rays, infrared (show the light from a TV remote using the cameras on cell phones), and radio. There is also “black light,” also called ultraviolet light. It can make things glow (show laundry detergent under black light).
Energy and you!
Read When Charlie McButton Lost Power by Suzanne Collins
Craft: Using conductive dough, make an LED light up using aluminum and copper wire.
A brief introduction to the idea of conservation of energy, both in the thermodynamic sense and in the saving energy sense.
Simmer and Sear: Heat, Chemistry, and Cooking
An evening lecture on thermodynamics and cooking for adults.
Thankful for Chemistry
Leaves changing colors turn into an overview of chromatography, candy pumpkins become atoms in molecular modeling kits, and kids practice good lab skills with lab notebook mad libs (pdf)! Two hour-long presentations on chemistry and its connection to fall and Thanksgiving, together with two hours of open activities for kids ages five and up.