MythBusters’ Grant Imahara and Kari Byron Talk STEM in North Port, Fla.
Give a girl a doll, let her tap into her creativity and turn them into crash-test dummies by the age of five, and see her evolve into one of the coolest women in science. Known as “the science chick,” Kari Byron and Grant Imahara, co-hosts of Discovery Channel’s MythBusters talked about the coolness of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to a group in North Port, Fla., on Dec. 1. Yes, they were in my backyard!
STEM is Fun
STEMSmart, an initiative of the Venice, Fla., based Gulf Coast Community Foundation, hosted the nearly two-hour conversation and Q&A with Kari and Grant at North Port High School discussing just about everything ranging from their childhoods (Grant liked taking things apart them putting them together again) to how they see their futures (Kari hopes to be doing the show well into her golden years and beyond so she can test the soul weighs 21 grams theory – a myth they’ve not been able to do).
I’m into geeky things and admittedly, I don’t watch the show religiously yet hearing about their childhoods, inspirations and how the show has evolved since its premier in 2002 was pretty fascinating. Plus, they both seemed like adorkablely cool peeps. Kari showed a bubbly, high-energy personality while Grant seemed like the fun and easy-going guy next door.
And in case you don’t know…
Grant, with a degree in engineering, is an animatronics expert and has worked on movies as the Star Wars prequel trilogy, The Matrix sequels and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, to name a few. He landed the MythBusters gig because of his friendship with Jamie Hyneman, a special effects expert and co-host of the show.
Kari’s path to MythBusters was through an internship on the show and as she said, “This is my first grownup job.”
Fun Facts I Learned About MythBusters
When asked if it’s hard being the only woman on MythBusters, Kari debunked the myth and said there is a “power circle of females behind the scenes, ” including more than half of the ground producers.
As of Dec. 1, the show has aired 753 explosions.
The smelliest experiment the show has accomplished was making an earwax candle as the green cartoon character Shrek did. Yeah, I’m gagging while writing this. Since they couldn’t harvest enough wax from crew, they obtained some from a doctor then melted it. *bleh!* In case you’re wondering, the myth was busted.
What’s the most expensive experiment MythBusters has tackled? It’s being planned now for the show’s 10-year anniversary. Grant and Kari were tight-lipped but said it includes rockets, desert and a mobile bunker. Grant added, “Like an armored car but more armor.” Apparently, blowing things up can be pretty costly.
New episodes return in Spring 2013. Visit the show’s webpage for a schedule.
Are you a MythBusters fan? What’s your fave episode?