Science is fun? You bet! Students learned just that during UH West Oʻahu Associate Professor of Science Education Rick Jones’ “Fun with Science” session as part of the SD 101 Summer Bridge Program on August 4. Summer Bridge is a week-long course where incoming freshmen participating in the Onipaʻa program attend lectures and participate in interactive discussions and activities designed to prepare them for the coming academic year at UH West Oʻahu. In “Fun with Science,” students learn about genetics and probability, and how principles relating to physical properties apply in the real world, including how to poke a hole through a balloon with a bamboo skewer without popping it! In case you’re wondering, it has to do with polymers.
“The analogy is a bowl of saimin,” said Dr. Rick Jones. “When the bowl is full, the noodles or ‘polymers’ are closely packed and interwoven and you can stand up your chop stick in the noodles without it falling over. This is similar to the top and bottom of the inflated balloon and you can push a skewer through the polymers of rubber without breaking them.”