The Funky Science homepage
Welcome to the Funky Science homepage. Here you'll find resources on how to build and
conduct your own funky science experiments, as well as links to some of the videos I've
created and links to similar sites. The keys to understanding this site are:
The point of this site is to help you develop the materials and resources needed for you to start doing science.
Although you can ask me questions, the key to doing science is for you to try it yourself and figure out how
to do it. It might take longer for you to find your own answers rather than having me give you an answer, but
you're more likely to get better answers and ask better questions if you try to solve problems by yourself. Of
course, science is a participatory activity, so get some friends involved as it's easier for a group of people
to solve problems than any individual acting alone.
- Science is a participatory activity. You really won't understand science until you try to do it yourself.
- Anyone can do science. Although most people won't do Nobel-calibre research, and many people won't
even do publishable research, it is still true that anyone who wants to do science can participate.
- You have to be creative to do science. Scientific discovery means finding new things and it usually takes
some creativity on your part to figure out how to do this.
Experiments and videos
- My YouTube channel is where all my videos are
posted. Many of these are Funky Science videos, but there are a few other odd videos thrown in as well.
- Polychrome strobe is a form of strobe light that produces different colored flashes of light.
This is particularly useful when looking at wave phenomena as the different phases of the wave
appear in different colors.
- The DIY air table is the physicists' version of an air hockey table. It's
a nearly frictionless surface that lets you examine the laws of mechanics in an environment that's fairly free
of the real-world complications of friction.
Other science sites
I like these sites because they highlight the creative aspects of science and also encourage you to
actively participate in exploring science, rather than letting you passively sit watching other
people do science.
- Martin Gardner was an inspiration for so many people who
followed in his footsteps. His work has inspired countless others to actively explore math and science.
The title of his book
Mathematics, Magic and Mystery explicitly states the two extra elements we should include when teaching math.
- Nurd Rage has a wide range of chemistry experiments
that are both educational and entertaining.
- George Hart has beautiful polyhedral art. See also his page
on classroom polyhedra page for a set
of good classroom projects. He is also ViHart's father.
She has some great videos on math, music, fractals and Martin Gardner.
- Science Hobbyist is a site run by Bill Beaty (with whom I worked
at Boston's Museum of Science back in the 1980s).
- Paul Nylander has lots of amazing math and physics art, often
created using the freeware POV-Ray raytracer.
- Robert Murray-Smith is working on
making supercapacitors using graphene (and other cool stuff), and he does a great job explaining how they work,
but he's also very insistent that you need to get involved and do your own research. I love his video explaining
the point of his channel because his attitude is