Lakeville South Graduate is a Science Star

Congratulations to Lakeville South High School graduate, Anson Tiong, who won 3rd place in the Science Olympiad’s Next Science Star competition. The video-based science communication contest award ceremony was streamed on YouTube on Friday, June 19.

In his video submission, Anson demonstrated the fundamental laws of physics using poker chips.


“Challenge your friends to remove a poker chip from the bottom of the stack, without actually touching the stack,” Anson says in his video, as he pulls a stack of poker chips from his suit coat pocket.

Anson Tiong“It may seem impossible, but with the power of science, it can be done,” said Anson.

Anson then takes a poker chip and slides it across the table towards the stack, knocking out only the bottom chip and keeping the rest of the stack intact.

“How does this work?” Anson asks his audience. “In one word, inertia. Inertia is a property of matter, which causes an object in motion to stay in motion and an object at rest to stay at rest, unless acted on by an outside force. In this case, when our poker chip collided with the stack of poker chips, the stack tried to stay at rest. But, because the force of that poker chip enacted upon the bottom poker chip, it caused the chip to go flying,” explained Anson.

Next in his video, Anson demonstrates the conservation of momentum by setting up a series of four small stacks of poker chips, with a single chip next to each. He slides a single poker chip toward the first stack, which causes the next single chip to slide into to the next stack and the next stack and the next, until the final chip in the series slid off the table.

We want to thank Anson for teaching us some science in a fun and visual way. Congratulations to him on his award. Maybe he’ll be the next Bill Nye the Science Guy!

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