I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Spangler who is a regular guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and appears weekly on Channel 9 News as the “Science Guy.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Spangler who is a regular guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and appears weekly on Channel 9 News as the “Science Guy. ” His accomplishments include being a 2 time Emmy Award winner, an author, a consultant/educator, a magician, a science toy entrepreneur and creator of over 1,000 YouTube videos with really cool science experiments! His Mentos/Diet Coke geyser experiment also made him very well known.
When asked if anyone in his family was a scientist, Steve mentioned that his grandfather was a “prolific inventor. ” He invented the top part of the pressure cooker. His dad was a chemist and a magician. So these skills must have rubbed off on him and influenced his career path.
The first science experiment Steve ever tried was in kindergarten. He demonstrated a Cartesian Diver where you make the diver go up and down due to air pressure and buoyancy. He remembers charging classmates a nickel to make the diver go up and down!
He has a both a chemistry and art history degree from the University of Colorado Boulder. He initially wanted to pursue a career in art history but found it to be way too boring! He then decided that teaching was what he really wanted to do and started off as a science teacher in Cherry Creek School District where he taught for 12 years. He was so excited, passionate and energetic about what he did that other people noticed. His love of science gradually turned into a business.
When asked what the funniest blooper he experienced while demonstrating a science experiment, he shared many! On April Fool’s Day, he pranked Channel 9 News Anchor/Reporter Kim Christiansen by having her open the cage to “Norwegian Dwarf Bunnies” (which don’t even exist) and a piece of hair flew out at her! Another time, he had Kim Christiansen demonstrate the Mentos and Diet Coke eruption and in the end, she looked like a drenched rat! That video went viral and created an entire Mentos business. He set channel 9 News Anchor Mark Koebrich’s coat on fire three times and shot foam up into the air causing Mark’s skin to turn yellow right before he was about to shoot the news!
Some of the most outrageous science experiments conducted include setting off 3,000 film canisters on the Ellen Show and setting the Guinness World Record by conducting the "World's Largest Physics Lesson. ” He had 5,000 kids gather at Coors Field for a weather and science program where they created an 8 foot wind bag that inflated with 1 breath of air. Another funny experiment was sending Beaker, a muppet from Sesame Street, up into space by securing him to a weather balloon which traveled 93,000 feet! The best part of his job is that he gets to go to work every day and have fun using creativity and science.
Steve was asked for advice he has for kids who are interested in pursuing a career. He mentioned that how you envision a particular job might be very different than the reality of that job. So, go and find out as much about a career that you’re interested in and follow a person who has that job all day (and even more), to see if it’s really what you want to do. Given these suggestions, maybe you will find a career that’s a blast too!