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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Whiz Bang! Science Show Hits Stage Aug. 11: ‘It Should Be Fun and Messy’

August 1, 2011

WOOSTER, Ohio -- Secrest Arboretum’s third and last “Whiz Bang! Science Show” of the summer features, among other things, dancing pasta, dry-ice bubbles and a Mentos/Diet Coke chain reaction.

Carbon dioxide is the focus, said presenter Dave Lohnes, better known as “Dr. Dave,” whose previous show in the arboretum drew more than 200 people.

“When you drop Mentos candies into Diet Coke, the carbon dioxide that’s dissolved in the soda is released and shoots out a fountain of Diet Coke,” said Lohnes, who works by day as a web developer at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the arboretum’s home.

“Thousands of tiny carbon dioxide bubbles are forming on tiny pits in the candy shell,” he explained. “These are called nucleation sites.

“I’ll have a chain reaction of Mentos and Diet Coke, where one reaction will trigger the next. It should be fun and messy.”

He’ll also put coins in dry ice, float bubbles in dry ice, blow up a balloon using dry ice and water, blow up another balloon using baking soda and vinegar, and in general talk about states of matter and how they relate to temperature.

It’s in the arboretum’s John Streeter Garden Amphitheater on Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. It’s free for kids of all ages and their families.

OARDC is at 1680 Madison Ave. in Wooster. Signs on the campus will direct you to the arboretum.

Call 330-464-2148 to learn more or if the weather looks iffy. If the weather is bad, the show will be cancelled.

Lohnes’s shows, according to his website (, aim to “excite kids and spark their interest in science.”

OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

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Kurt Knebusch
Dave Lohnes