IMSA students tackle tough questions

October 25, 2010

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When Clever Apes traveled to the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy to challenge students to decode complex scientific ideas into 60 second explanations, we were extremely impressed with the outcome. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time in the latest episode to include all of the students who participated. So for your listening enjoyment, we present two more 60 second explanations.

First up is Irina Pushel who decided to explain the strange properties of superfluidity. This concept was new to us, so we had to look it up. Here is a video that shows the superfluitity of helium in action. Once the helium hits the Lambda point (very close to absolute zero) the liquid shoots up through the spout all on its own, then slides down the sides and back up through the spout in a continuous fountain.

 

 

Next, Nathan Geldner and Sam Smith stepped up to the plate to explain natural selection in under a minute. We so enjoyed their idea of a three-legged cat competing with a four-legged cat for a mate that we asked our friend Steve of iwanttodrawacatforyou.com to imagine what this might look like.

Thanks again to all the students and staff at IMSA who helped us with this challenge!

AND speaking of challenging scientific concepts… We want to hear what science stuff you find baffling. Send us an email (cleverapes@wbez.org). Find us on Twitter or Facebook or just comment below. Let us know what you want decoded and it might be featured in an upcoming episode. Thanks!