President Obama really knows how to make us TiVo shows, doesn’t he? We told you that the social media butterfly would be making an appearance on the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters, and now that it actually happened Wednesday night we’re here to give you the low down.
On the episode Obama stated that, “Science requires a lot of trial and error. Part of what Mythbusters is about is testing out various hypotheses, and I think we’ve got a big one that hasn’t been thoroughly tested.”
The challenge for hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage was to test the hypothesis behind Archimedes’ solar death ray, which allegedly used giant mirrors to reflect sunlight towards attacking Roman ships around 212 BC, the end effect being that they would catch fire.
The president said that, “Nothing is more important to our country’s future than getting young people engaged in math and science.”
True that! And in the spirit of engaging that youth demographic, the team enlisted the help of 500 middle and high school students who tried to set a boat sitting in the San Francisco Bay on fire with mirrors. In the end, even with all that manpower, the boat heated up to about 300 degrees but no actual fire was started.
The hosts reminded everyone at home that failure isn’t a bad thing, but instead it means that you’ve ruled out one possibility and now have a new direction to discover even more.
Even though it’s a little odd to see the president on TV for purposes other than addressing our country from the confines of the Oval Office, it is empowering to see him taking a stand on where we need to be with education. Who knows, with any luck one of these kids could be the next scientist to set about solving some of our major environmental problems.
Keep studying kids!
Check out a clip from the episode here.