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'Mad Scientist' sparks summer learning

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Good magicians don’t reveal their secrets, but scientists are happy to share. Monday afternoon, “Mad Scientist” Erik Pratt entertained dozens of children to kick off the summer reading program at the Great Bend Public Library.
“Some of this might look like magic, but it’s science,” Pratt said, as he pushed a skewer through a blown-up balloon. A balloon is a made of latex, which is made up of polymers, he explained. The skewer was coated in petroleum jelly. When the skewer is pushed through the balloon very slowly, the intertwined polymer molecules are pushed aside and then wrap ...


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