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Press Release 08-092

Engaging the YouTube Generation in Hands-on Science

An experiment using readily accessible ingredients helps middle-school students soak up science

Photo of girl performing a science experiment.

Girls engage in hands-on science activities through a program called Bringing Up Girls in Science.
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June 2, 2008

Many of us remember a science class where we first had opportunities to conduct experiments. It may have been our first exposure to the scientific method, as we investigated phenomena, presented hypotheses and shared results.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) helps make research experiences accessible to students at all levels, and supports classroom math and science teachers through a number of programs encompassing teacher preparation, professional development, and partnering and mentoring opportunities with higher education faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. In addition, a select group of teachers has an opportunity to serve at NSF through the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program.

Cherlyn Anderson is one of eight Einstein Fellows spending this academic year at NSF. In her other life, Anderson is an eighth-grade science teacher in South Carolina. She has used an experiment involving Mentos candy and Diet Coke as a teaching tool. The accompanying video offers a demonstration of the experiment, and discusses its benefits for eighth-grade science students.


Media Contacts
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8070,

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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Photo of Cherlyn Anderson demonstrating the notorious Diet Coke and Mentos experiment at NSF.
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A demonstration of the notorious Diet Coke and Mentos experiment at NSF.
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