Jacobs Brings `Electric Pickle’ to WFU

Steve “Jake” Jacobs, host of “Jake’s Attic” on Fox television and science consultant for “Mr. Wizard’s World” on the Nickelodeon channel, hopes Piedmont-area sixth graders get a charge out of “The Electric Pickle” program Oct. 17 in Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University.

Jacobs said that his “Electric Pickle” demonstration — used on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” — sums up his attitude about science education. “It’s just a fun thing,” he said. “The essence of what I bring in my presentation is that if Jake can do science, anybody can.

“Science is not a bunch of information; it’s a way of thinking, a way of looking at things. Many of us probably didn’t experience much true science in elementary school,” he said. “We memorized facts. That was science information, and it was like ‘music appreciation’ — you probably didn’t make much music; you just learned about making music. With science, I think we’re now moving in the right direction.”

More than 2,000 children from public and private schools are expected to attend the free program, which will use live, hands-on demonstrations to help students think like scientists in their everyday lives.

“You don’t have to go to college to be a scientist,” Jacobs said. “If you buy into the idea that science is a way of thinking about the natural world, then science is an everyday occurrence.”

“The Electric Pickle” is sponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, AMP Incorporated, Wake Forest University and SciWorks. Jacobs came to Winston-Salem at the request of the Science STARS Universe, an affiliated program of Wake Forest.

Jacobs’ television program, “Jake’s Attic,” appears on 158 Fox television affiliates in the United States. A former chemistry and physics instructor, Jacobs is a member of the American Institute of Chemists and the Royal Institution of Great Britain. He is currently executive director of the Mr. Wizard Institute and science director for the Wichita Children’s Museum and Science Center.

During his visit to North Carolina, Jacobs will also present a free program for the public 6 p.m. at SciWorks, in addition to performances in Durham.

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