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Steve Tomecek

Family Science Programs

If you're looking for a fun-packed family event for an evening or weekend, then you should check out one of the Dirtmeister's Family Science programs.

These special hands-on workshops are designed to bring parents and kids together in a relaxed atmosphere to discover some of the wonders and mysteries of science. Generally conducted in a cafeteria or large multi-purpose room, these events focus on a single science theme and feature a variety of hands-on activities using simple "dirt cheap" materials.

Family Science Programs are limited to about 200 participants and last approximately 60 minutes. The fee is $600.00, which includes all materials and travel expenses within a 100 mile radius of New York City. There may be an additional travel fee for areas outside of this zone.

Family Science Programs can also be coupled with a book signing featuring one or more of the Dirtmeister's books. Many organizations use these events as a fund raiser or to kick-off a school science fair or PARP Program. The following is a listing of current Family Science program topics:

Bouncing and Bending Light

This workshop explores the science behind the reflection and refraction of light. We begin by looking at how mirrors work and discover how many things including windows, puddles and pieces of aluminum foil can all work to show you your reflection. Next we discover how both mirrors and lenses can work to magnify and image and construct a simple model of a human eye using nothing more then a plastic bag and a cup of water.

May the Force be With You!

Even though we don't always feel them working, we are constantly being pushed and pulled by different forces in nature. We begin this workshop with a look at gravity, "the big G", and discover how finding the center of gravity is necessary to keep things in balance. Then we discover why "spin is in" and how rotational inertia helps to keep things like bicycles and Frisbees moving straight. We conclude with a look at static electricity and discover how this force can be either a push or a pull.

Are you Sensible?

In this workshop you can really get in touch with your senses as we explore some of the science behind sight and hearing. We begin by examining the principle of biofeedback and discover how the human brain is really the supercomputer that makes all senses possible. We begin by exploring the inner workings of the human eye, and discover why two eyes are better then one when it comes to judging depth. Next we focus on the eye/brain connection and see how color vision works and why our brain makes motion pictures a possible. Then we look at some of the science of sound and it's why our ears often hear what our eyes can't see. We conclude by creating some slightly silly sound effects and actually see "the sound of music."

The Science of Sports

Even though most people don't think about it, there's a lot of science in sports, and in this workshop we take a hands-on look at some science at play. We begin by looking at reaction time and test to see why some people make good goalies while others are more suited to being "armchair quarterbacks." We then examine the connection between mass and inertia, and discover why heavyweights have a distinct advantage over "skinny minis" in football and wrestling. Next, we look at leverage and discover how a little science can put the power in your hands! We conclude by putting Bernoulli's Principle to the test and see how it keeps everything from boomerangs to soccer balls in flight.

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