What kinds of STEM activities can you do using products found at a hardware store?

How is it possible to detect the direction of the Earth's magnetic field using a pencil, fishing line, and a magnet? Want to blow out a candle from ten feet away, or trap your most annoying friend using only a garbage bag and a vacuum cleaner? Hardware Science provides hundreds of such activities and projects. Each activity is designed to practice the thinking skills used by all scientists and engineers. Once you know how to think like a scientist, the possibilities are endless! You'll start to see Hardware Science everywhere.

What age group is Hardware Science intended for?

If you're older than 9, you might get a bit more out of it, but there's no "right age" to be a scientist!  Younger scientists might require more help from their adult "assistant." And for those of you who are no longer spring chickens, don't worry. Scientists age well.

Who hosts the live Hardware Science shows? 

Steve Jacobs, or Wizard IV, comes from a long line of science "wizards." The original Wizard was Michael Faraday, one of the most influential scientists in history, who made great strides in electromagnetism and electrochemistry. He earned the nickname from Queen Victoria herself, as he managed to demonstrate and explain the nature of electric current to non-scientists. He was a great science communicator. 

Dr. Hubert Alyea of Princeton took up the title of Wizard II, traveling the world to explain atomic energy to a post-World War II public and earning comparisons to Faraday. Wizard III was Don Herbert, television's Mr. Wizard, who for fifty years captured young imaginations through his demonstrations of "the science of everyday living."

Steve Jacobs was mentored by both Alyea and Herbert, and took up the torch of Wizard IV in 1995 at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, where he promised to carry the science communicator's "light of illumination." He now shares the wonders of science with young scientists around the world. In our live shows, you’ll see Wizard IV, his troop of young Wits (Wizards-in-Training), visiting scientists and engineers, and even an occasional NASA astronaut, demonstrate activities and projects from all fields of STEM.

Aside from experiment supplies, what Hardware Science products can I find at Ace?

The Hardware Science kiosk is filled with kits, activity books and manuals for purchase. A video monitor will present live how-to webcasts from the wizard studio plus access to an archive of all HWS videos. The kiosk also provides free hand-out sheets with activities and projects from Hardware Science partners, including NASA, Science Olympiad, The Royal Institution of Great Britain, and the National Science Teachers Association.

There's no Hardware Science program at my local Ace Hardware store. How can I change that?

Each store owner decides which items and programs are offered in the store. The first step is to contact the store owner directly and suggest with enthusiasm that they investigate the program through their contacts at ACE corporate offices, or at the HWS web site, hardwarescience.com.

Next, ask your local teacher to stop by the ACE store and request the program and its products.

Remind the store owner that this program is a wonderful service to the community. Once the owner learns that customers in the store’s service area are interested, the program stands an excellent chance of appearing on the shelves.