CLINTON — Catalyst Corey produced a glass vase full of gold-colored beads, called them “gravity beads of science,” and said when he pulled them over the side of the container, he would be converting potential energy to kinetic energy.
He said he needed a crazy scientist assistant to help him and asked the children to show him their crazy arms.
At that, Jackson Munger, 8, of Pittsfield, flailed his arms all around.
“Yours!” Catalyst Corey shouted. “I like your crazy arms. Give this man a round of applause”
With that, Jackson went to the front of the crowd and held up a plastic cup. Catalyst Corey asked him to catch the beads in the cup as he dumped them out of the vase. They all fell to the ground in an action Catalyst Corey said demonstrated the conversion of potential to kinetic energy.
The display Sunday at Clinton Lions Agricultural Fair was part of the Mad Science Energy Show put on by Mad Science of Maine, a South Portland-based business that offers hands-on, interactive science enrichment programs for children, seeking to spark their imagination through scientific discoveries.
A crowd of kids and adults sat on benches in the sun to watch the show, at which Corey Cleary, also known as Catalyst Corey, taught the children about various forms of energy, including renewable energy, such as wind and solar energy.
To demonstrate how wind power is converted to electricity, he had Jocelyn Clark, 8, of Clinton, Alice McCaslin, 4, of Sidney and Donovan Saint Martin, 5, of Waterville, hold miniature blue and green wind turbines and asked them to blow on the blades. He then helped by aiming a leaf blower on the turbines, causing them to whir quickly.
The audience of about 75 kids and adults clapped and cheered and laughed as an energetic, theatrical Cleary showed them all sorts of other experiments, including one in which he used methanol, oxygen and a heat source to pop a ping pong ball out of a tube, calling it “Combustion Popper 5000.”
After the show, Jackson, sitting next to his younger brother, Brantley, 5, said he loved the show, which he had seen twice before, including at the Fryeburg Fair. His father, Andrew Munger, said the boy fell in love with the show the first time he saw it.
“It teaches the kids about science and different types of science in a fun way,” he said.
Cleary, meanwhile, said Mad Science of Maine does science workshops all around the state. Sunday’s show sponsor was the Clinton Lions Club, he said. Mad Science, which recently did workshops at Clinton Elementary School, does similar events at schools, summer camps, birthday parties and other venues, according to Cleary, who holds a bachelors degree in fine arts from Montserrat College.
Elsewhere on the midway, people of all ages were munching on french fries, cotton candy, Thai food, ice cream and hot dogs, taking rides on the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round, and petting rabbits, chickens, cows, goats, donkeys and ponies. They ducked in and out of exhibition halls touting arts and crafts, vegetables, 4-H, grange and extension displays.
At the Clinton Historical Society’s History House, president Buddy Frost, who also is secretary of the Lions Club, said more than 20,000 people had patronized the fair in its four days. Sunday was its final day.
“We’ve had an exceptional fair,” he said, “The weather is beautiful and I think everything is going great.”
The historical exhibits included old ironing boards produced in Clinton many years ago by three different companies — Spaulding, Davis and Runnels manufacturing companies, according to Frost.
“They shipped truckloads of them out of Clinton,” he said. “We had a croquet factory back in the 1800s. We have one of the croquet mallets here.”
Samples of wool from the former Ski-Land Woolen Mill were on display, as were trophies, photographs and other memorabilia from the former Clinton High School, which closed in 1966, four years after Frost graduated.
He said many of the museum items, including photographs, came from Frank True, who rode around on a bicycle in the 1950s, taking pictures of all sorts of things. True’s wife, Ivy, donated many items to the Historical Society, according to Frost.
“Frank gave us a lot of this stuff,” he said. “I think we would never have had the museum if it wasn’t for Frank.”
He said True was known as “The 25 cent Man,” because he would do work for people and charge only 25 cents per project.
“He’d repair your furnace or clean your furnace for 25 cents,” Frost said. “He’d build you a set of steps for 25 cents.”
Amy Calder — 861-9247