Wondercast, Science ATL Videocast Series Sponsored by Emory University
  • Wondercast

Science ATL is always striving to bring people together through the wonder of science. With Wondercast, we do just that. With our full length episodes to our new design challenges, we invite you to wonder with us. Hosted by Dr. Kellie Vinal (@kellievinal), each Wondercast encourages science fans of all ages to wonder through exploration of our world. Support for Wondercast comes from Emory University.

Wondercast Design Challenge

With the Wondercast Design Challenge, host Kellie Vinal invites you to be curious and explore scientific questions with us by imagining, designing, and building to solve challenges at home. Together, we’ll wonder about some of the simple things we see or use daily or the more complex phenomena that make our world so extraordinary. We hope you’ll be curious with us and share pictures of your creations!

Wondercast Design Challenge for December

This month, Science ATL is very excited to be collaborating with our friends at Elequa, an amazing organization that inspires kids like YOU to use your creativity to solve real-world problems.

Your challenge is to purify water using electricity — all using scavenged household items!

For this challenge, head on over to Elequa’s step-by-step instructions on Instructables. There, you’ll find a list of materials to start with, a video to guide you through the experiment, and an in-depth lesson plan.


  • When you’ve finished this project, this water will not become clean enough for you to drink — this is just an experiment so that you can see the purification process happen before your eyes.
  • Another thing to keep in mind is that when you are selecting your energy source, please choose a low-voltage battery, such as a 9-volt battery, AAA, AA, C, or D. See which one works better!

Submit Your Project!

Once you’ve given this experiment a try and added your own tweaks and changes, we want you to share what you’ve found! Submit your design using Elequa’s google form.

**** The first 20 people to submit a design will receive a DIY purification kit in the mail! ****

You’ve got the entire month to work on your design. Email your submission to [email protected], or post on social media using the hashtags: #wondercastdesignchallenge and #makewater.

Submission Rules

  • All entries must be original, uncopied, and unpublished work. Entries must be the contestant’s own work and created without any external help.
  • Contestants are permitted no more than one entry per person.
  • Winners will receive a Science ATL t-shirt and ALEX sticker.
  • By submitting your work, you grant Science ATL, Inc. unrestricted permission to reformat, republish, and otherwise use your name and challenge submission for Science ATL promotional purposes without further compensation.

Wondercast Past Challenges

We’ve got a new challenge coming your way this month, and it’s about brains! Sorta. And outer space! Kinda.

We want you to create a flip book about what you think NASA and the European Space Agency will find on their exploration mission to Jupiter.

Science ATL is excited to be partnering with our friends at Piedmont Park Conservancy for this month’s challenge. With the global pandemic and social distancing in mind, we want you to design a six-foot candy contraption (á la Rube Goldberg) that delivers a piece of Halloween candy to someone at least six feet away.

  • Cut a flap in your box so that it’s still attached on one side. **
  • Cover the inside of the flap with foil.
  • Position the lid of your box so that the sun bounces off the foil and onto your soon-to-be toasty snack within the oven. ***
  • If desired, cover the open hole of the box with plastic wrap to keep bugs and dirt away.

** Note: Feel free to change things up and share your innovative design!
*** Note: We recommend placing an open-faced s’more (without the top graham cracker) in the oven to melt before adding the final graham cracker layer.

Wondercast Episodes

BACKYARD DETECTIVES with Dr. Anthony Martin

Did you know that you can learn all about how an animal lived – even if it’s been dead for millions of years? Dr. Anthony (Tony) Martin joins the Wondercast to talk about tracks, trails, traces, trilobytes, and… paleo-selfies? Tune in to explore the world of ichnology, or the study of animal traces. We’ll learn why birds are basically dinosaurs, how being wrong is often right, and how to be a time traveling backyard detective!

Now available! Watch episode 3 now.


In this week’s Wondercast episode, we talk to Dr. Eri Saikawa, Associate Professor of Environmental Health and Environmental Sciences at Emory University, about pollution and the people and places most vulnerable to its impacts. While pollution impacts populations across the globe, Dr. Saikawa and her team conduct research in and with the help of communities around Atlanta.

Join us to learn more about how our air and soil gets contaminated and what you can do to be an environmental helper!

Now available! Watch episode 2 now.


On May 22, we’ll learn about the only mammal capable of true flight: bats! 🦇 We’ll be joined by Emory Ph.D. candidate Amanda Vicente, who studies the intersection of disease prevention and bat conservation. Tune in to explore how these fuzzy sky puppies are helpful to our ecosystems, why people are afraid of them, and what it’s like to study them.

We’ll learn how to create a cozy home for bats in your own backyard, if you so choose, and what bats can teach us about viruses.

Now available! Watch episode 1 now.

We want to hear from you! Submit questions, art, good news, feedback to: [email protected] (415) I-WONDER

About Our Host

Kellie Vinal is a molecular biologist, science writer, educator, producer, and adventure enthusiast based in Atlanta, GA. She’s fascinated by the intersection of science, art, and humanity and generally can’t sit still. She’s currently a freelance science communicator, serving as Public Events Coordinator for Science ATL, Atlanta producer for The Story Collider, Scientist in Residence for STE(A)M Truck, and co-host of the Womxn in STEMtertainment podcast. Her work explores the nuance and delightfully bizarre side of science through a range of mediums. You can learn more about her at KellieVinal.com

About Our Theme Song

Our new amazing theme song is by Flamingo Shadow!
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Wondercast produced in partnership with: Emory University

Founded by: Emory University Georgia Institute of Technology Metro Atlanta Chamber

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