FORT SMITH — While we can’t see things like sound, gravity, and air molecules, their effects can be seen. Demonstrating these in a way kids can understand – and entertaining them at the same time — is the challenge of Mad Scientist Stephen “Super Steve” Cox.
He accomplished this lots of laughs and minimal mess Wednesday afternoon (June 27) at the Fort Smith Public Library.
Mad Science has been around a while. Based out of Montreal, Canada, this unique and unstoppably successful endeavor has for two decades inspired millions of children throughout the United States and in 19 countries around the world, such as Great Britain, Spain, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
A Mad Science franchise for Northwest Arkansas was created in 2005 and has been committed to bringing this enriching show to over 40,000 children throughout The Natural State ever since. Operated by Cox and his son, Warren, out of Fayetteville, it has become an acclaimed fixture at places like The Jones Center, the Rogers Activity Center, the Arkansas Music Pavilion, Pinnacle Hills Promenade, and the Fayetteville Public Library.
On Wednesday (June 27), the Cox duo demonstrated static electricity, air pressure, gas molecules, centrifugal force, magnetism, sound waves, Bernoulli's Principle, and the force of air. They performed for more than an hour but ran out of time before their demonstration was through.
Several times Stephen Cox would say “Now lets do this Texas-style” and whatever he was doing, would grow in size (for example, he went from balancing a ping-pong ball on the air of a hair-dryer to a floating a beach ball on a leaf blower.)
The library room was packed and Warren Cox had a hard time keeping children behind the designated barrier. They jumped up in the air to catch things and raised their hands to volunteer for projects. Several would-be scientists approached the Coxes after the show with questions about that they’d just seen.
Mad Science of Northwest Arkansas is planning shows at all the major regional libraries libraries and will host a daylong science extravaganza July 17 at Kelley Cabin in Fort Smith.