The Science of the Big Bang Theory

So hey – I have a Big Bang Theory event on Thursday! And since I know a lot of you are throwing one as well, I’d thought I’d share what I have planned. The idea for this program was to do something for every character, showing at least SOMETHING about what they do. Sheldon is by far the hardest, as string theory is something that this former music major can’t wrap her head around at all. I honestly have very little science in my background (I’ve never taken a single chemistry class in my life), so this entire summer was really rather terrifying. Not just because I don’t know much about science, but because I wanted to show science in a way that’s fun & doable for 20-40 teens in a room.

But I think I’ve got a pretty fun event planned – we’ll have to see if the teens agree! Mostly, these are crafts & games that use a variety of scientific principles. I’ll be adding signs at every station that explain what’s going on & why we’re doing it, including the science behind Leonard’s lactose intolerance!

Sheldon: Theoretical Physicist
Very simple explanation of string theory
– cat’s cradle – each teen goes home with their own string!

Leonard: Experimental Physicist
– To explain chaos theory/centripetal force: spinning paint art (also science of color!)
bottle music
straw challenge – how far will it go?

Penny: Acting
– body language/charades using emotions
– cheesecake! I’m going to get the tub of cheesecake & make little cupcake sized cakes for everyone.

Raj: Astronomy
moon phase necklaces

Howard: Engineering
toothpicks & gumdrops: challenges!

Bernadette: Microbiology
bread-making: wheat vs gluten-free flour, feeding the yeast sugar vs a sugar substitute (does it bubble the same?)

Amy: Neurobiology
– optical illusions craft: 3D hand prints
Stroop Effect game

Wil Wheaton: Biomechanics
– Wesley Crushers bowling!

ALSO:
Paper-Rock-Scissors-Lizard-Spock Tournament!
Science of how to win

Moon phase necklaces

While attending our local medieval faire this summer, I stumbled on this fabulous craft, combining craft & astronomy with a touch of personal identity. The necklace up there on the left is what I purchased – a beautiful work of art showcasing the phase of the moon on the day I was born. It’s so simple, & yet so sweet & personal.

The necklace on the right is the modified, very inexpensive version I made with my teens this summer. To make it, all you need is a bottlecap (these are only $10/50 at Pat Catan’s), some string, a clear protector, & your birthday moon phase!

To find your moon phase, either download Moon Preview, a free app, or head to this moon phases calendar.

As for the moons? I saved the files I used. Just print these off on white cardstock, & punch them out with a one inch circle punch. Have fun!