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Join the Exploratorium crew on our trip to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, California, to learn more about the Mars Science Laboratory mission and the Curiosity rover.

It's time for a new mission to Mars! Join Exploratorium science educators as we celebrate the launch of the newest rover, Curiosity, as it begins it's 8 1/2 month journey to the planet Mars. We will look at the launch itself, talk a little bit about MSL(Mars Science Laboratory) and Curiosity, summarize the history of Mars exploration, and look forward to what is next!

Despite my better judgment, I invite TI staff educator Eric Muller to do one more set of activities—several things you can do with soda straws.

Cheer on the competitors in this zany science cook-off. Teachers compete before a live audience at the Exploratorium for the revered title, "Iron Science Teacher." This week's secret ingredient: batteries.

TI staff educator Eric Muller hits me up for change, and then demonstrates a neat science activity using dry ice.

An introduction to the cuica (pronounced KWEE-kah), a small friction drum used in Brazil's Carnival parade.

A detailed demonstration of how to make this small friction drum, including a discussion of materials needed and how different kinds of materials make for cuicas that produce different sounds.

The science behind this musical instrument, including the concepts of sound, vibration, resonance, and amplification.

An introduction to a crowd-pleasing noisemaker called a sound sandwich, which you can adjust to raise or lower its pitch.

A detailed demonstration of how to make this primitive wind instrument using little more than a straw, two craft sticks, and some rubber bands.