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Scientist & TV Host Emily Calandrelli Says This $10 Tool Takes At-Home STEM Projects to the Next Level

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Emily Calandrelli is on a mission to increase the visibility of women in STEM while inspiring the next generation of scientists — and she does it one TV show, one book, and one TEDx Talk at a time. (No big deal.)

Calandrelli is perhaps best known for being the host and co-executive producer of Emily’s Wonder Lab. She is also a correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World, a host and executive producer for Xploration Outer Space, and the author of several books including Stay Curious and Keep Exploring — a guide to 50 family-friendly science experiments. And that’s just the start of the MIT engineer’s resume.

Through her various platforms, she shares accessible STEM projects, many of which kids can easily do with ingredients that are already in the house. And honestly, props to Calandrelli for promoting experiments that don’t require an extra trip to the store.

The Emmy-nominated TV host recently starred on an episode of Blippi, and she and the title character did some of those simple yet satisfying projects. The duo made “oobleck” out of cornstarch and water, and after measuring and mixing, they were left with a “really weird substance” that was not quite slime, not quite liquid, and not quite solid.

“It’s so much fun to play with,” she tells SheKnows. “Activities, like the ones we are doing with Blippi, are ones that you can do at home with easily accessible materials, and they can fill an afternoon. They can make you feel good about the time that you’re spending with your kids because not only is it educational, but it’s also fun, and I think it’s an easy win all the way around and it will hopefully make for a really fun-filled summer.”

Once again, we have to give Calandrelli a round of applause for sharing educational activities that use items people can find around their houses.

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But we also had to know what Calandrelli thinks is the one special, out-of-the-ordinary item parents should spring for if they want to take their kids’ STEM projects to the next level. The winner? A black light.

You probably think of cleaning when you think of black lights, but Calandrelli says there are a lot of glow-in-the-dark science experiments you can do with them.

“You can make invisible ink with bleach, you can make glow-in-the-dark lava lamps with a yellow highlighter, and all you need is a black light,” she says. “And so I think that one is one of my all-time favorites. So if you get a black light, there are a lot of fun things that you can do.”

Oh and did we mention the best part? It’s only 10 bucks. So yeah, we’ll be adding this one that has more than 57,000 5-star reviews to our cart pronto.

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