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Follow-Along Demos

Hands-on workshops are a highlight of EYH every year… and this year is no exception! Rather than joining us in our labs on campus, let us bring the lab to you with hands-on activities you can do in your own home! Gather your materials ahead of time and follow along with us in real time, with opportunities to ask questions along the way!


Blossom, A Handcrafted Robot

Michael Suguitan: Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University

Blossom is a do-it-yourself social robot made from wood and knit covers. Blossom was designed so that anyone could help build and program their own robot.


Bending Light

Kathleen Smith: Graduate Student, Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University

This demo will use household items to literally bend light! We will also make rainbows using a CD/DVD and measure the width of a hair via diffraction pattern. We will connect these demonstrations to how we use these techniques in daily life, from fiber-optic cables to DVDs.


  • Bright flashlight
  • Soda can with hole poked in the side
  • CD/DVD/Blu-Ray disc (several)
  • Laser pointer
  • Worksheet

Build your own Edible Cell!

Cisco Gregg Epinosa and Liz Chartier: Undergraduate Students, Chemistry, Cornell University

Learn about the structure and function of organelles in plant and animal cells by building your own with materials found in your kitchen. The list below offers suggestions of what to use for each organelle, but feel free to use whatever you want/have available with similar shapes/sizes.


  • Base: cake, large cookie, or similar flat object
  • Nucleus: circular candy or fruit (grape, mini Oreo, small cookie)
  • Nucleolus: M&Ms or kittles
  • Rough ER: gummy worms with Nerds, Nerds rope
  • Smooth ER: gummy worms
  • Cytoplasm: frosting
  • Mitochondria: Gushers or other fruit snack
  • Lysosomes:jelly beans
  • Cell Membrane: icing, licorice
  • Chloroplast: green Tic Tacs
  • Ribosomes: Nerds
  • Cell Wall: mini marshmallows
  • Vacuoles: Gushers for animal cell, blue icing for plant cell
  • Vesicles: Gushers
  • Golgi Apparatus: Fruit by the Foot, Air Heads sour
  • Toothpicks and paper (labeling)

Fun with Fruit: Extracing Strawberry DNA at Home

Cheyenne Peltier: Graduate Student, Chemsitry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University

Using only household items and some strawberries you can see and hold the very thing that makes a strawberry a strawberry: its DNA!


  • Strawberries
  • Dish soap
  • Coffee filters
  • Ziploc bag
  • Salt
  • Rubbing alcohol or ethanol (70%)
  • Spoon or coffee stirrer
  • Cups (2)
  • Water