TRU professor Martin Lettinga carves a pumpkin using scientific knowledge.

Pumpkin carving with a science-based edge

Thompson Rivers University Professor Martin Lettinga impressed the university at Halloween with self-carving pumpkins.

Thompson Rivers University Professor Martin Lettinga impressed the university at Halloween with self-carving pumpkins.

Lettinga combined Calcium Carbide CaC2 with water H20 to make a setline gas.

Setline gas is highly flammable and was used to create an explosion powerful enough to blow out the pieces of a pre-carved pumpkin.

“It is a great way to have fun with left-over pumpkins and experiment with science,” Lettinga says.

“This is my second year hosting the self-carving pumpkin event and I would like to continue doing it in years to come.

“I saw it on the Jay Leno show a few years ago and thought it looked like fun.”

Lettinga is constantly working to keep instruction methods up to date.

He is now conducting experiments via high-speed Internet connection with the TRU Campus in Kamloops.

Thanks to the BC Integrated Laboratory Network (BC-ILN), local students can carry out analysis by remote access.

Through Skype video, students will be communicating with faculty in Kamloops who can load samples.

Students will be able to view the spectrometer in operation through a web camera in Kamloops and a touch-screen laptop in Williams Lake.

TRU Williams Lake features state of the art laboratories and facilities for students.

Students are able to conduct experiments and research in groups and the small class constant access to professors.

Bu Jacquie Johnston


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