Doug Cashell of Sciencetellers, left, uses science to add hands-on fun during the "Dragons and Dreams" story time Tuesday at Dover Area Community
Doug Cashell of Sciencetellers, left, uses science to add hands-on fun during the "Dragons and Dreams" story time Tuesday at Dover Area Community Library. Anthony Dattisman, 7, of York, assisting along with Riley Graham, 4, of York, catches a cup blown off the top of a bottle in an experiment. Below, a group of girls laugh through another experiment as soap suds climb over their hands. The girls are, from left, Bella Garner, 8, and Emily Bilodeau, 7, both of Dover, and Kayla Laird, 8, and Sadie Mikula, 11, both of York. (Bil Bowden photos)

Children at the Dover Area Community Library Tuesday were part of a story time about faraway lands, dragons and two heroes, Henry and Beth.

And though the tale of defeating the Ice Queen and her icicle soldiers would have been entertaining on its own, Scienceteller Doug Cashell added flair with bursts of fire, icy fog and other science tricks that captured his audience's attention.

Cashell told the children he is "part scientist, part storyteller," and used the tale "Dragons and Dreams" to teach children about science, particularly about dry ice, fire and other elements that pop and fizz.

From right, Sadie Mikula, 11, of York, Kayla Laird, 8, of York, Emily Bilodeau, 7, of Dover and Bella Garner, 8, of Dover laugh as soap suds climb over
From right, Sadie Mikula, 11, of York, Kayla Laird, 8, of York, Emily Bilodeau, 7, of Dover and Bella Garner, 8, of Dover laugh as soap suds climb over their hands. Sciencetellers are bringing their energetic and unique style of immersion storytelling to York County Libraries, including the Dover Community Library on Tuesday, July 29, 2014, to tell the tale of ÒDragons and DreamsÓ. Bil Bowden photos.

The presentation was part of the York County Libraries' "GO and Experiment! Fizz Boom Read" summer reading club and physical activity program, which have had science themes throughout, said Karen Hostetter, who oversees youth services at the Dover library.

The lessons: For an hour Tuesday, Cashell, complete with a bandana and tie-dye lab coat, filled glass flasks with water to rapidly dissolve dry ice, coated containers with ethanol to produce a flash of fire, and created a fog from which the Ice Queen disappeared.

Through it all, children from toddling ages through middle schoolers learned about gas densities, electricity and sublimation, which is when a solid converts immediately into a gas.


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Cashell said he originally started working for Sciencetellers to get additional experience with performing.

He was never a science whiz, Cashell said, but he believes the primer he gives kids will help them remember concepts such as sublimation when it comes up again in a science class.

"They'll see it again later, and it'll remind them," he said. "And, it's exciting."

Perhaps most rewarding for Cashell and the libraries: After many of the programs, the Scienceteller said, he sees children rushing to the science section, looking for their own books of experiments.

— Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.