Who would have thought that Bass Hall would allow bananas to be catapulted across its stage and water bottles launched into the audience? That was just part of the fun during Doktor Kaboom!’s science show on Sunday.
Doktor Kaboom, who said he got his name from an experiment with a cannonball and a hamster, was a fantastic educational and comedic show for elementary and middle school aged kids. He had several children come up on stage to volunteer to help with experiments including one kid having to try to catch banana pieces in his mouth from a catapult across the stage. Another child got to swing a cup of water around on a cutting board to demonstrate centripetal force. Both experiments ended with lots of bananas and some spilled water on the stage. And to close the show, Kaboom mixed together vinegar and baking soda to launch water bottles high into the air.
Unlike some science shows, which can be yawn-inducing for the parents, Kaboom kept everyone in Bass Hall engaged during the quick-paced 1 hour and 20 minute show. Some of the jokes (all of which were family friendly) were clearly meant for the adults in the room, such as a few about the recent anniversary of the Titantic’s voyage. There was plenty of audience engagement as Kaboom had the crowd shout "JA": and "KABOOM!" throughout the performance.
As a parent, what I enjoyed the most about Doktor Kaboom’s performance was his enthusiasm for science and for encouraging children to feel good about themselves. He slipped in several positive messages for kids during his science experiments that didn’t feel preachy or out of place in his zany German scientist act. He has a DVD on Amazon.com (Doktor Kaboom's Try This at Home, $15) that shows how parents can try experiments at home with their kids and I will definitely be purchasing it for the summer so we can launch our own bottle rockets.