German “Bill Nye the Science Guy” Shares Experiments with Students through Interactive Science Show

The Waukee High School auditorium flooded with 550 Timberline, Prairieview, Waukee Middle School and South Middle School German students on Friday, Sept. 9, in anticipation to see Germany’s “Bill Nye the Science Guy” Jo Hecker.

Hecker has authored several books including his series “Hecker’s Wizard’s Kitchen – Experiments for Kids”. Hecker took experiments from his books and brought them together into his interactive science show, which he has performed nationally and internationally for the last 12 years.

“The most important factor for deciding what experiments to bring is if it will fit in my suitcase,” Hecker said. “The experiments involving fire are the most popular so I always try to make sure and bring those.”

Through his interactive, high-energy presentation, students learned about what materials can conduct electricity, what fire needs in order to burn, why voices sound different in audio recordings and much more. Hecker demonstrated a variety experiments on stage, from pressing a stethoscope to the heads of students as they ate to show how it sounds in their heads when they chew to holding a lighter to a balloon long enough to make it pop into a small mushroom cloud.

“It was so cool. I really loved his experiments,” said George Willenvobg, who participated in Hecker’s last experiment. “I especially liked the one where he lit the balloon and it exploded.”

Willenvobg was just one of the students who had the opportunity to be on stage with Hecker. Throughout the presentation, Hecker selected many eager students to be involved.

Teachers were also involved in the show, including South Middle School German teacher Danielle Taha.

“I really liked his demonstration on electricity and how he used the stethoscope at the beginning,” said Taha, who was part of one of Hecker’s stethoscope demonstrations. “It was very intriguing.”

Hecker said he enjoyed the energy and eagerness to participate that Waukee students displayed during his presentation.

“The students have curious minds and have fun,” Hecker said. “I was also very impressed by the school. It is well-equipped and full of nice, helpful people. I’ve felt at home here.”