There were explosions, color changing liquids and plumes of fire at the Vienna Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Sunday.

“Don’t do this at home, do this at your friend’s home,” joked Jen Young, educational program coordinator for the World of Wonders Science Museum before lighting a pile of soapy suds in his assistant’s hand on fire. “No, don’t do this at anyone’s home.”

Senior residents, staff and children of staff were gathered for the 2nd annual Backpack to School event with a special performance by the WOW Museum followed by ice cream sundaes.

 Experiments included a lesson on the Bernoulli principle, where a teen from the audience was called to see if he could inflate a large garbage bag all in one blow. 

The trick: Blowing into the bag at a distance rather than blowing it up like a balloon.

“When something like air is moving fast, it has low pressure. The air around it is slow so it has high pressure,” Young said. Since areas of high pressure like to move towards areas of low pressure, the stream of fast moving air you create by blowing forces more air from outside to enter the bag, according to the Bernoulli principle.

Residents at Vienna enjoyed the show, one woman giggling uncontrollably as Assistant Luis Anaya dropped carbon dioxide-filled bubbles into her open palm. Each bubble burst into a puff of smoke on contact. 

That experiment was done by dropping a chunk of dry ice into a container of water and dipping a connected hose into a dish of liquid soap. The gas pushed out through the soapy film into gray, smoky bubbles. 

“I didn’t know you could make bubbles out from dry ice,” said Judy Martinez. “Everything was very interesting and easy to understand.”

Mostly the seniors enjoyed an action-packed but also respectful science experiment performance.

“He was very personable. He presented like he expected us all to understand,” said Shirley Klinker. “Sometimes speakers look at people our age like we don’t understand.” 

The event was to not only entertain the young guests and senior residents at the Vienna Nursing Home, but also to distribute 75 backpacks and school supplies to children of Vienna staff, according to Jamie Vilinskas, marketing director for Vienna. 

Backpacks were donated to the nursing home by the Vital Life Foundation. After the show, children received the drawstring backpacks and got their own ice cream sundae to enjoy. 

 Contact reporter Christina Cornejo at

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