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Emily's Wonder Lab's Sky Alexis and Makenzie Lee-Foster talk science, slime and girl power

Ready for BTS season? Obsessed with science? We've got the *perfect* show for you—and we got to know two of its stars: Sky Alexis and Makenzie Lee-Foster

Emily’s Wonder Lab teaches science through interactive experiments that make learning fun. Host Emily Calandrelli guides a group of kid scientists through a mind-bending activity in her wonder lab, then does a more detailed demonstration of an experiment that deals with the same concepts, but is easier to do at home. Whether you want to learn about non-Newtonian fluids while whipping up oobleck slime, or witness acid-base reactions as you create rainbow bubbles, there’s a project for everyone’s interest. 

We talked to Sky and Makenzie about hilarious behind-the-scenes stories (hint: *lots* of slime) and their advice for kids their age...

GL: What do you love about being part of Emily's Wonder Lab?

Sky: As a kid scientist on Emily's Wonder Lab, I love showing other kids how fun science can be—and that you can conduct experiments right at home in your kitchen. I even made a lava lamp with ingredients we already had in the cupboard! 

Makenzie: The coolest thing is that I get to be myself. I love science so this project is perfect for me—I hope everyone else enjoys the experiments, fun colors and [seeing] all of our real personalities shine through.

Makenzie on set. Image: Shakondi Lee.

GL: Favorite moment from filming the show?

Sky: My absolute favorite episode to tape was the Oobleck episode. It was really easy to make and felt so weird when you held it and it melted into your hand. I was so excited when they said we would get to walk and dance in the Oobleck. My other favorite part? Hanging out and laughing with my team every day on set. 

Sky smiles on set. Image: Crystal Alexis

Makenzie: Whoa, I have to pick just one?! I'd have to say the huge pool of slime was my favorite. We actually made unicorn slime with our bodies! Some of us even took trash bags of slime home afterward. It was awesome. 

GL: Best behind-the-scenes story?

Sky: Each morning we'd come in and walk into a surprise experiment—we never knew [in advance] what we were going to do the next day. On the day of the horse toothpaste, we saw the horses and were trying to figure out what the experiment could be. Have you seen how awesome that horse toothpaste explosion was?! 

Makenzie: After the slime pool, we all got out and the slime started to dry. There were big sheets of plastic to stand on as we tried to pick the slime off—we were *covered* in it. Our parents joked about just wrapping us in the plastic to drive us home without messing up the car. Production was going around and helping scrub kids with Borax to get rid of the slime. Fun times!

GL: Advice for other kids your age?

Sky: Never give up on your dreams. Always reach for your number one goal and have it in your mind. I make a vision board every year—I cut out pictures and sayings with my goals for the year, add things that make me happy and hang it up in my room where I can see it every day. 

"Never change who you are for someone else. Everyone is beautiful and different." - Sky Alexis. Image: Reel Mike Jones.

Makenzie: Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something just because you're a girl. Also, don't give up when things get hard! If the process is tough, the reward will be great. 

GL: Current favorite things?

Sky: I have a *lot* of favorites. My favorite food is ramen. My favorite movie is My Neighbor Totoro—it's the best. I love to watch Moriah Elizabeth on YouTube. In my spare time I do lots of tricks on my trampoline.

Makenzie: I'm into anything that has to do with Pokémon. The characters are *so* cute, and each one has special powers! If I had superpowers myself, I'd totally use them to make people happy every day. 

Makenzie strikes a pose. Image: Shakondi Lee.

GL: Something most people don't know about you?

Sky: I'm really goofy and I love magic tricks. I like to make really big art projects out of empty boxes. The last thing I made out of an empty box was a claw machine.

Makenzie: I'm terrified of bugs! I couldn't even look through my sciene book last mom had to check the pages first to make sure there weren't any pictures of bugs. I can look at them from far away, but right next to me? Nope! 

GL: What's up next for you?

Sky: I have an awesome new movie coming out. It's a sci-fi horror film called Let Us In—something really new for me. I'm also recording a voice-over series from home! 

Makenzie: I'm focused on my second children's book and hoping to have that come out this fall. I also recently shot a commercial for Nike—it was a tribute to Kobe Bryant. I've also been working with an organization called Afrikicks for years now. They help bring shoes and other much-needed items to kids all over Africa. Consider donating your new or gently used shoes to support them!

Check out Emily's Wonder Lab on Netflix!

Slider Image: Bailey Bujnosek contributed reporting. Interviews edited and condensed for clarity. 

by Katherine Hammer | 9/2/2020