Grant Imahara attends the “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” premiere at iPic Theaters Westwood on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 in Los Angeles. Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP

Shopping Siren and Bag Lady were so heartbroken to hear this week about the sudden death of “Mythbusters”‘ Grant Imahara.

As Discovery Channel viewers well remember, he was the fun, cool, geeky science guy taking on each experiment with contagious levels of joy and excitement. Watching made *us* want to build robots, swim with sharks and fire cheese cannons! You know, strictly in the name of science. And cheese.

He was only 49. A total stranger. And yet, oof.

So in honor of Grant, we’re going to science and STEM ourselves through this sad time. We think Grant would approve.

Bring on the cheese cannons!

• Kraft macaroni and cheese, 7.25 oz., Hannaford, $1.09


OK, so, we’re fresh out of cannons. How about crafting an airplane out of a macaroni and cheese box? Kraft Foods has an oddly deep inventory of STEM-related food challenges at (marshmallow launcher, pudding finger paint, edible slime), but this build with a box, straw, scissors, tape and a few coins for weight caught our eye. Make several and see whose can fly the farthest! Just don’t, you know, catch anyone’s actual eye.

• Great Value baking soda, 4 pounds, Walmart, $2.24

A science fair staple, but how’s this for a twist? Sand volcano!’s sand volcano experiment looks so fun, while keeping the mess confined to the sandbox or beach.

• Ook 18-guage hobby copper wire, Home Depot, $5.48

A little wire ballerina spinning her heart out atop a AA battery? The height of adorableness. cautions that it takes some bending trial and error, along with crepe paper for skirts, magnets and wire cutters. They had us at crepe paper skirts.

• Diet Coke 2-liter and Mentos six-pack, Hannaford, $1.66 and $3.49


A couple of Buckfield guys made it big several years ago with their Coke and Mentos shtick, but it’s no magic trick — it’s science. For something even cooler and potentially world record breaking, try creating a Mentos and soda toy car. The one that goes the farthest wins! The one that doesn’t go at all means the builder ate all the Mentos! There is no bad result here.

Virtual science camp, $85-$130

Need some science assistance? There’s a place called the Challenger Learning Center of Maine in Bangor and we had no idea. Turns out they offer, among other things, an array of sciency and STEMy summer camps — all of them virtual this year. Grab a child (one you know and have approval for) and sign up for a session of Dr. Seuss-themed chemistry experiments or Martian soil analysis. Inspire the next Grant Imahara from your living room.

Best find: UMaine Cooperative Extension 4-H STEM tool kits, free to borrow ($25 refundable deposit)

Available from the Lisbon and Orono Cooperative Extension offices, these kits are designed for different age groups and include lesson plans and all the materials you need to, say, check out the Fibonacci sequence, explore chemical reactions or build an anemometer. Also, you can find out what an anemometer is. And how to pronounce it. Score!

Think twice: ArtSkills glitter eight-pack, Staples, $6.29

Yes, everything is cooler with glitter. Also yes, glitter was invented by a mad person who wanted to torture the world. Both things are simultaneously true. You can fun up your baking soda volcano with glitter, or make a tornado in a jar or create sparkly slime, while also creating a thousand tiny glitter nightmares all over the floor. . . and your furniture. . . and on the cat. You will find glitter in places you didn’t know glitter could go. And that’s if you’re careful. So maybe skip the sparkles for right now. Science is exciting enough without it.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who experiment by rolling in it, whatever “it” is) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]

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