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Demand up for Mad Science during COVID-19 school closures

Posted at 9:02 AM, Apr 08, 2020

With schools across the state shut down due to COVID-19, students and their parents are looking for ways to keep busy.

"We've definitely had a lot of people reaching out to us," said Dr. Koco, as he's known, at Mad Science Milwaukee.

Mad Science characters - like Dr. Koco - travel to area schools and organizations like the Boys & Girls Club to promote science experiments as a fun way to learn.

With state and local officials pushing social distancing, and banning large gatherings, the bespectacled science fanatic said he and his team have taken to online videos to promote their message.

"We've been putting different videos up on our website, with different experiments," he said.

"There's definitely a need right now for activities for people to do," Dr. Koco said.

He believes the experiments provide an alternative way for kids to keep busy in an age dominated by smart phones, computers, and TV screens.

He demonstrated an easy experiment parents and children can do together on a recent visit with TMJ4 News.

Here's what you need:

  • 1 cup dish soap
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water

Dr. Koco said stir them all together and, ideally, let the mixture sit for 24 hours.

He added eager experimenters can skip the waiting period if needed.

Once the liquids have mixed together, Dr. Koco demonstrated how something like a pipe cleaner tied into a small loop can be used to blow bubbles.

However, unlike the bubble formula you can purchase at the store, Dr. Koco pointed out these bubbles leave behind a filmy residue after they're popped.

That's why he called his creation "ghost bubbles."

He said the experiment provides a couple of different learning opportunities for kids. They can experiment with the liquids, and how using different portions/ratios in the mix can impact a final product.

Dr. Koco also said the bubbles teach students how water surface tension works - which creates the bubbles. He said the addition of the corn syrup and soap can alter that surface tension.

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