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Bringing back memories of “Mr. Wizard” from the popular TV show of the 60s, Frank Salter of Hannibal made quite an impression on “kids of all ages” when he demonstrated dozens of magic tricks at the Louisiana Area Historical Museum’s summer program on June 11. Each magical trick was actually based on a scientific principle that Salter explained, with a wide range of topics from density, sound, air pressure, electrical current and vision. As he explained, “what we see and what we think we see aren’t necessarily the same” and he urged the audience to be critical thinkers.
Demonstrating many devices collected over the years, Salter enjoys sharing what he has learned as a chemist at Continental Cement Company in Hannibal for 20 years where he did analytical work on hazardous waste material. He was also involved in public relations for the company. His studies at Western Illinois University in physics and chemistry with a Masters degree in Physics from the University of Missouri at Rolla have given him the experience and background he needs to now be an Adjunct Professor at Moberly Area Community College and Hannibal-LaGrange University. He was assisted in the program by his wife, Dr. Donna Woodard, who is also a teacher.
The next program in the Museum’s series is at 1 p.m. and again at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, when local author and historian Brent Engel will portray Professor Robert R. Rowley, local educator, archaeologist, scientist and author from Louisiana’s historic past. Rowley earned a national reputation among scientists for his work in entomology and paleontology. Engel will bring examples of local fossils and offer young audience members a chance to play a game.
Everyone is invited to attend the summer programming, which is free of charge. The Louisiana Area Historical Museum is located at 304 Georgia Street in Louisiana.