Baking soda and vinegar rocket? Check. Hot Air balloon made from sterno and a plastic bag? Check. Banana cut into pieces still in the peel? Check
A little know fact about me, I went to college for biochemistry. Did I decide to study science because I had dreams of solving the worlds problems? Not at all. Did I want to clone dinosaurs and rule the world? Sometimes. Mostly I liked science because I thought it was cool and the reason I thought it was so cool was the experiments I would watch and emulate from Don Herbert’s “Mr. Wizard’s World”.
Mr. Wizard’s World should not be confused with the classic “Watch Mr. Wizard”. I was too young for that. My Don Herbert exposure began in 1983 when Nickelodeon began airing a retooled version of Mr. Wizard called, “Mr. Wizard’s World”. As I found out later the show I watched had a lot in common with the 1951 – 1965 series.
Mr. Wizard’s World Introduction
Don “Mr. Wizard” Herbert would perform a cool experiment that would seem impossible in a kid’s mind and then would show how easy it is using “science”. Then the kids at home would make a mess of their kitchen trying to copy it. Maybe that was just me? (Sorry Mom). I know its hard to believe, but a show that simple, can in fact, keep a child entertained and even inspire them to higher education.
Mr. Wizard’s World Commercial
I was so enamored by this show I whined to my parents until i got a copy of “Mr. Wizard’s 400 Experiments in Science”. I may have not completed all 400 but I still got a couple of years left in me to work on them.
Don Herbert passed away the other day after a battle with cancer. He leaves behind him a rich award-winning legacy of TV programming that spans nearly half a century. But most importantly he inspired children to learn while managing to walk that difficult tightrope between entertainment and education. Thanks Mr. Herbert.
July 10, 1917 – June 12, 2007
Science is an imaginative adventure of the mind seeking truth in a world of mystery. — Sir Cyril Herman Hinshelwood