Nikola Tesla: Imagining the Future

Nikola Tesla imagined the future and is being rediscovered in pop culture and celebrated as a man before his time.  He thought of devices and technologies we use today such as mobile phones, wireless internet and renewable energy. “It will soon be possible to transmit wireless messages around the world so simply that any individual can carry and operate his …

The Electric Life of Ben Franklin

Portrait of Benjamin Franklin, 3/4 view, with his arms crossed and his glasses on his nose.

As you do your own investigations and projects with electricity, you might want to think about a STEMist from the past who was also interested in electricity: Benjamin Franklin. A Founding Father of America While Franklin is best remembered as one of America’s founders, he was also a man of many interests.  During his life he was a writer and publisher, …

Technology in Fashion

Photograph of performer in a Faraday Cage dress with electricity flowing from her finger tips.

STEMists have done some amazing things with textiles (fabric) and clothing. Today we have clothing that changes color in sunlight, socks with aloe to soothe the feet, and fleece fabric made from recycled plastic bottles–just for starters! There are fabrics to protect people from water, germs, acid, bullets, and ultraviolet light. Textile engineers often work with artists and designers to make sure their discoveries can be turned into clothing that looks nice enough for people to wear. Continue reading

ChemIsTry of Fireworks

Photograph of fireworks over an island overlaid with chemistry symbols.

Here’s the deal behind the Chemistry of Fireworks – and yes, with anything worthwhile, you really need to Try. Fireworks are created by chemistry. The colors are produced by the heating of metal salts, that emit characteristic colors. The atoms of each element absorb energy and release it as light of specific colors. The energy absorbed by an atom rearranges …

International Asteroid Day

Black and white photograph of an asteroid captioned "International Asteroid Day"

International Asteroid Day is observed every year on June 30th. Also known as National Meteor Watch Day, on a cloudless night, STEMists turn their eyes to the sky in hopes of spotting the glow of a falling star. What is an Asteroid? Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the sun. Asteroids orbit the sun like planets, but they are …