Updated: Oct 26, 2021

We know that the speed of light is 299,792,458 m/s. But can we somehow calculate this speed at home or in the classroom? To calculate the speed of light, all you need is a microwave oven, a microwave-safe dish, a bag of marshmallows, a ruler, a calculator, and the following equation to calculate the speed of light - c = f where:

  • c = the speed of light = 300,000 km/s or 3.0 x 108 m/s

  • = the wavelength of light, usually measured in meters or Ångströms (1 Å = 10-10 m)

  • f = the frequency at which light waves pass by, measured in units of per seconds (1/s).


  1. Place the mini-marshmallows in the dish one layer thick.

  2. If your microwave has a rotating platform, remove it. We don’t want the dish to rotate.

  3. Put the dish in the microwave for 10 seconds.

  4. When you remove the dish, you’ll notice only certain parts are melted. (Time may depend on the microwave – if all or none of your marshmallows melted, adjust the time.)

  5. Measure the distance between the closest melted marshmallow hot zones using your ruler. Measure in centimeters. This is half the wavelength of a microwave.

  6. Look for a sticker on your microwave that tells you its frequency in Hertz (Hz). Most microwaves are around 2450 MHz. Note: MHz = 10^6 Hz

  7. Use the following equation to find the speed of light: Speed of light = 2 x (distance between melted spots) x (frequency of microwave)

  8. How close were you?

WHAT’S GOING ON? Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation, just like light, but they are beyond the visible spectrum so we cannot see them. A microwave oven works by creating a standing wave in the microwave. The peaks of the wave heat faster and melt the marshmallows first. What you measure is half the wavelength of the microwave light. The arrow shows one full wavelength of microwave light.

Calculate the speed of light using marshmallows & microwave oven

Contact us to learn about our future STEM programs.

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Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Field trips for students allow them to experience a real-life profession, or concept. It moves the students out of their classroom and get a glimpse of how things work in the world away from their classrooms. It allows them to apply their classroom knowledge in a job that people do to get paid.

Field trips are also wonderful way to make learning fun and engaging. Seeing the practical application of their classroom learning, not only makes that concept exciting, but it allows students to get curious about that concept and makes them want to learn more about it.

But, like everything else COVID-19 has disrupted in 2020, education along with the much needed field trips have suffered as well. Education around the world has either gone fully virtual, or is a mix of virtual and In-person, or fully in-person. Field trips though have completely been eliminated for most students to keep everyone safe and avoid any exposure to the virus.

While continuing to engage students in virtual STEM after-school programs, we have developed a very unique and innovative approach to the field trip model.

We developed 4 virtual STEM Field trips. Each of our field trips involve an initial one-on-one consulting with teachers to understand the concepts students will focus on during the school year. With input from teachers, we sprinkle the elements of their school learnings in our field trips. This makes the field trip experience not only more engaging, but it then becomes an extension of what students are learning, while they learn a new concept in these fun field trips.

Our 4 unique virtual STEM field trips are -

- Entrepreneurship

- Animation Design

- App Design

- Virtual Escape Room

Contact us to learn more about these field trips for your students.

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Job Title - Computer Hardware Engineer,  researches, designs, develops and tests computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. Computer hardware engineers ensure that computer hardware components work together with the latest software.

Computer hardware engineers typically do the following:

Design new computer hardware, creating blueprints of computer equipment to be built. Test the completed models of the computer hardware they design. Analyze the test results and modify the design as needed. Update existing computer equipment so that it will work with new software. Oversee the manufacturing process for computer hardware

Computer hardware engineers analyze complex equipment to determine the best way to improve it. They design new types of information technology devices. They use logic and reasoning to clarify goals, examine assumptions, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to problems. They identify complex problems in computer hardware, develop and evaluate possible solutions, and figure out the best way to implement them. Engineers often work in teams and must be able to communicate with other types of engineers as well as with non-technical team members.

Potential Employers - Computer and equipment manufacturers like Dell, Apple, HP, Semiconductor manufacturers like Intel, Federal Government, R&D in Engineering firms

Education - Bachelors/Masters degree in Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science

Salary - $66,000 - $176,900 & more

Future - Employment of computer hardware engineers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. A limited number of engineers will be needed to meet the demand for new computer hardware because more technological innovation takes place with software than with hardware. However, demand may grow for hardware engineers as more industries outside of the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry begin to research and develop their own electronic devices.

An increase in hardware startup firms and the ongoing increase in devices with computer chips embedded in them, such as household appliances, medical devices, and automobiles, may lead to some job growth for computer hardware engineers.

Computer Hardware Engineers

What do computer hardware Engineers do?

What is computer engineering?

** Source - Bureau of Labor Statistics

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