Tag Archives | acid

GUEST POST: Iron Science Teacher Competition

Now for a little Tuesday treat we have a guest post from a dear friend of the show, current science illustrator and future museum evaluator Juliana Olsson! She wrote us up a post about her experience as the Iron Science Teacher competition held on June 25th, 2011. Enjoy! – Ryan

I have a confession: before attending the Iron Science Teacher competition at the Exploratorium a few Saturdays ago, I had never watched any “Iron [Fill in the Blank]” activity. It’s not that I discriminate against element 26, I just have a hard time reconciling the competitive nature of such events with the subjective topic: if each entry is good but in different ways, how do you choose the “best” one? Thus I was somewhat wary watching high school science teachers duke it out in front of a live audience to determine which one could come up with the best experiment and lesson plan on a given concept. Would this be a ferociously ferrous nerd bloodbath?

I shouldn’t have worried. It was awesome. There were chemicals and beakers and flames and muppet music. Things were learned, fun was had by all, and I approved of the winner. There was even a glowing pickle. Watch the webcast yourself, or read about the experiments after the jump.

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Fermentation… on Acid!

lactic acid

Acid, of the lactic variety.

Here’s the deal, I bought a food processor a few months ago and the joys of shredding still seem fresh and new.  This novel invention combined with easy access to the bountiful harvests of my local and beloved CostCo results in some wild and crazy weekend antics.   The only tarnish comes when a giant batch of finely cut vegetables founders in my crisper drawer, leaving an indelicately reduced liquid to sop up rejectedly.  Even if the chopped vittles don’t turn obviously against me, I have suffered at the hands of food-borne illness often enough to throw things away before they become truly dangerous.  It would seem that my only remaining options are to give up my grating addiction or get my act together and attempt some “new” method of food preservation.  I will choose the latter. Continue Reading →


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