Meet the Maker: Dan Flisek, Mr. Home Scientist

Daniel FlisekDan Flisek – “The Home Scientist” – was one of our guest favorites last year, with his informative and fiery chemistry demos.  He joins us again this year, and he’s sure to inspire some new reactions (get it, reactions?) at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015!  Dan tells us more about himself and what he’s bringing to Gulf Coast MakerCon this year.

 GCMC: Tell us about yourself, what you do and why.

DF: I am Dan Flisek and I do amateur home chemistry. I film many of my experiments and share them on my YouTube channel (youtube.com/mrhomescientist) and blog (thehomescientist.blogspot.com). One of my main goals is to collect actual samples of all the collectible elements on the periodic table. I’ve used chemical reactions to wrest many pure elements from their compounds, like iron from rust and bromine from pool chemicals!

GCMC: Why? 

Dan Flisek giving one of his live chemistry demos at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

Dan Flisek giving one of his live chemistry demos at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

DF: The main goal of my YouTube channel and blog is to share the wonder and beauty of chemistry, and to show people that you don’t need an expensive university or company lab to do real science. The word ‘chemical’ has unfortunately become a bad word, and I aim to change that by showing people how amazing and useful chemistry can be. Everything is made from chemicals! As long as you respect your materials and make safety a priority, chemistry can be done at home quite safely.

GCMC: Why do you think what you do is important?

DF:  I think this is very important to show people that science can be fun and exciting. Too often kids get easily turned off to science because they get mired in the book-work, or think that science isn’t ‘cool’. The STEM career fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) are some of the most sought-after and highly paid jobs around, and we are in dire need of new STEM professionals! We do very important and exciting work, and I’d love to get more people interested in science.

GCMC: What are you bringing to Gulf Coast MakerCon?

DF: A large, illuminated display of the periodic table which houses actual samples of (nearly) every collectible chemical element. It’s something I designed and built myself to house my ever-growing element collection. I’ll also bring several interesting science exhibits, and I’ll be performing a few exciting live chemistry demonstrations during the day.

GCMC: Why should folks come out to a maker festival?

DF: Maker festivals like this one are an awesome opportunity for people to meet creative and driven people from all walks of life, and to see the truly amazing things that can be done if you put your mind to it!

GCMC: What’s so great about making stuff?

DF:  I get a great deal of satisfaction out of creating something unique. It’s awesome to set a goal for yourself, planning out how to get there, and watching it all come together in the end.

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You can meet Mr. Home Scientist, Dan Flisek, in person and enjoy his amazing and informative live chemistry demos at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015 on April 18th.

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