Meet The Scientific Method
From Astrophysics to Zoology, from Ethnobotany to MythBusting, all scientists have one major practice in common when it comes to experimentation and exploration—the Scientific Method.
MythBusters combine their curiosity-driven hypotheses with inventive testing methods, producing results that always surprise their viewers and oftentimes, themselves. Under the guidance of the scientific method, MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition is your chance to try the MythBusters’ unique “Put it to the Test” methodology for yourself:
Wonder – What crazy questions can we ask?
Research – What is already known about those questions?
Guess – What do you think the answers are?
Test – Design experiments to answer the questions.
Discover – Test and test again…and break some stuff too.
Results – What did your experiments tell you?
Share – Shout it from the rooftops! Make a TV show about it!
The Explosive Exhibition Story
Five years in the making, MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition has come to life with myths and experiments that push the boundaries of museum exhibitions farther than they have ever been pushed. It is a true MythBusters creation, where flying airplanes, duct tape canoes and running through phosphorescent rain is par for the course.
For nearly a decade, the MythBusters have captivated curious truth-seekers of all ages by testing—and busting—urban myths by any means necessary.
We’ve applied the MythBusters methodology to creating a museum event that could bring the MythBusters quest for truth to our fans. We wondered: How do we translate a television show—where special effects masters perform experiments that require explosion shields and helicopters—into a hands-on, indoor exhibition for any museum guest to enjoy?
After thorough research, guessing and testing, we discovered that it all starts by creating an environment where visitors could question, test, experiment and play the way the MythBusters do in their workshop. And what better way to create this environment than to bring our workshop to you? To keep it as close to the original environment as possible, we filled the exhibition with props and tools interactive videos and illustrations—straight from the hands of the MythBusters themselves. Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition is your chance to try your hand at busting some new myths, as well as some old favorites.
With the help of real (and often well-worn) props from the show, you will confront myths in hands-on experiments and mental challenges, then add your results to the results collected by everyone who has visited the exhibition. Who knew scientific experimentation could be so, well…so fun?!?
So what did the team behind the Exhibition have to say about bringing the MythBusters workshop to you? Below is a collection of memories, insights and advice straight from the mouths of the team behind the scenes of Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition.
We emptied the set of the show—almost one hundred props right here in the exhibition.
Q: Hey Grant can we have your Robo-Grant Surfer...and maybe Robo-Cat?
A: Sure thing.
Q: Hey Jamie, may we have your tornado Protection Shield?
A: Well, I don’t see why not.
Q: Hey Adam, may we have your…um... Fart Collector?
A: Why, yes you may!
The MythBusters mailed all of their backdrop stuff right to the museum. So cool.
Q: How do you count how many raindrops hit your body?
A: Make them glow under black light.
Q: How do you keep it from ruining your clothes?
A: Use a medical tracer!
The exhibition team filtered our “rainwater” with glow-in-the-dark florescence, which is completely stainless and harmless, but stays on your body and shines under black light. It’s perfect for counting the number of raindrops that land on you...or a freakish trip to the dance club after a visit to the rain chamber.
Card, cards, cards everywhere! It takes some practice, but with the help of a master card thrower like Adam Savage, throwing cards is really fun...and addictive. During development, the team tested radar guns in our project manager’s office to determine which gun is sensitive enough to pick up the 1mm edge of a playing card. Folks threw just about everything they could find in front of the radar guns: playing cards, pencils, paper clips, business cards, books, chairs... you name it, they threw it.
My advice to exhibition visitors: practice throwing playing cards at home before coming to the exhibition so you can show off your technique. But please, don’t try books and pencils and chairs at home.
MythBusters Method to the Madness
ADD THE MYTHBUSTERS METHOD TO THE MADNESS
MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition lets you apply the core principles of the scientific method by using the same exciting, innovative practices as the MythBusters in hands-on, interactive experiments.
Want to ramp it up? You’ll have the chance to participate in live MythBusting demonstrations with experienced MythBusting professionals.
HOW DO THE MYTHBUSTERS APPLY THEIR SPIN ON THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD?
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE MYTHBUSTERS IN ACTION IN MYTHBUSTERS EPISODE 96: SURFING WITH DYNAMITE.
The myth comes from a viral web video ad that shows a surfer dropping a stick of dynamite in a city pond, which, upon exploding produces a beautiful, curling, ready-to-surf wave. Kari, Grant and Tory investigate how much dynamite it would take to recreate that wave.
- Wonder: Is it possible to use dynamite to make waves large enough to surf? How can we do it?
- Research: The team does their homework. Is there proof that an explosion can even make waves at all? There is. Since it is possible, how deep must an explosive be at the time of detonation to generate a gnarly wave? Would you live if you were in the water next to a dynamite explosion? Kari asked an underwater explosives expert if there was any danger—other than bleeding to death—as a result of the explosion. Other than that? No. However, that whole bleeding to death thing would hardly be righteous, brah—so it looks like no swimming with explosives.
- Guess: Even though you would likely die if you were within the blast range of the explosive, it still might create waves big enough to surf.
- Test: In a controlled environment, the MythBusters placed dynamite in a flooded quarry, with robotic surfer Robo-Grant. When the team let it rip, could Robo-Grant rip it?
- Discover: 50 lbs of dynamite (20 times the amount used in the video) made waves, but not enough for Robo-Grant to hang ten. So the team ramped it up with 200 lbs. of dynamite. This wave was bigger, but the concentric wave pattern dissipated the energy, leaving Robo-Grant hanging high and dry.
- Results: Busted. First, no surfer could survive the explosion. Second, there is no way three sticks of dynamite could make a wave large enough to surf. Even with 200 lbs of dynamite, the wave could not last long enough to ride.
- Share: Lets put this on a TV show and tell the world: IT’S BUSTED!
COSI - Center of Science and Industry
Center of Science and Industry
Opens June 8, 2013
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