SCIENCE and ENGINEERING

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COVID-19 has turned the 2020-2021 school year upside down: How are you going to work and your kids get educated at the same time? You can't do it ALL, right?

There are ways of making the best out of any situation. ​Children have a natural curiosity that lends itself to science, technology, math, and engineering. We have a unique opportunity here: We can make the COVID-19 crisis into a moment that will live vividly in our kids' memories. Inspire your kids build on their innate desire for answers by exploring engineering concepts in a fun, hands-on way. 

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Are you ready for another great STEM toothpick challenge that is sure to entertain your little builder? This Jelly Bean Toothpick Building Activity is going to become one that you keep around as the perfect boredom buster!

 

Most kids enjoy seeing the process and changes as they manipulate, build or experiment.

This activity is both a hands-on learning experience and a lesson in engineering. Their creations develop right before their eyes, all while using their cognitive skills to make it structurally sound

Category: Engineering
Color naked egg.JPG

A “naked egg” is an egg with no shell. This is not something you normally run across and even when you see a naked egg it’s often hard to understand that even though the shell is gone – the egg stays intact.

The shell of an egg (typically a chicken egg) is made up of primarily calcium carbonate, This is what makes them hard. Vinegar is an acid known as acetic acid. When calcium carbonate (the shell) and acetic acid (the vinegar) combine, a chemical reaction takes place and carbon dioxide (a gas) is released that you see as bubbles on the shell.

The chemical reaction keeps happening until all of the carbon in the shell is used up – this takes about a day. When you take the eggs out of the vinegar, they are soft because all of the carbon escaped out of the shell in those little bubbles.

The egg still stays together and doesn’t fall apart because it has an “invisible membrane on the surface of it which does not react with the vinegar.

Now you know how to remove the egg shell without breaking it!

You can even add food coloring per cup if you want a brilliantly colored naked egg!

Category: Science
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Caution:  This activity requires adult supervision

Cut a grape in half, pop it in the microwave, hit "start" — then sit back and be dazzled by the grape balls of fire. 

Naturally, the resulting bright sparks and balls of light, sometimes accompanied by a buzzing sound.

What's even more amazing is that the "fire" isn't actually fire — it's a state of matter called PLASMA (Ancient Greek for “moldable substance”) is when gas is ionized, either partially or fully, causing electrons to be free, or no longer bounded. 

Category: Kitchen Science
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Making crystals with salt is a popular kid’s science activity—for good reason! The ingredients are cheap, available at the grocery store—and the results are lots of “Ooooh’s” and “Ahh’s” from your kiddos.

This particular activity also involves making the crystals into a sun catcher! And for those of you who like to throw some art education into the mix, the post also includes hyperlinks to an art icon whose work was inspired by warping geometry, much like the crystals.

Category: Science
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This DIY Thermometer is an awesome Science activity for kids of all ages! Create your own thermometer from a few simple materials, and test the indoor and outdoor temperature of your home or classroom for simple chemistry!

 

A thermometer shows the temperature when liquid inside it moves up or down on a scale. Explore how a thermometer works when you make a homemade thermometer for this project.

Many commercial thermometers contain alcohol because alcohol has a low freezing point. As the temperature of the alcohol increases, it expands and causes the level within the thermometer to rise.

The level of the alcohol corresponds to the printed lines/numbers on a thermometer indicating the temperature. Our homemade version does a similar thing.

However with your homemade thermometer you aren’t actually measuring temperature, just seeing temperature changes.

Category: Science
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Homemade “slime” activities are a staple for many parents and educators looking for a fun tactile activity. This variant adds a splash of science by adding iron oxide powder and magnets into the mix. Getting the slime consistency right can be a little tricky, but most issues can be resolved with either adding more glue or more liquid starch. Once the starch is ready, you’ll need a strong neodymium magnet (or more) to start manipulating the slime.

This activity is an excellent conversation starter as kids are sure to have a lot of questions about how magnets work—so don’t forget to brush up on the subject yourself before getting started!

Category: Science
Stop motion.JPG

Here’s an excellent option for creative STEM learning. We’ve all seen the fun stop-motion videos online, but you probably never thought of creating one yourself or, better yet, with your kids. With just a few objects, a smartphone or iPad® and a stop-motion app, your kids can learn about the technology behind movie-making and create a video unique to their own likes and interests.

Category: Technology
Paper Flyers.JPG

These crafts provide an excellent opportunity to explain aerodynamics, opposing thrust, and gravity. Kids can experiment by adjusting the size of the papers, the number of paper clips on the whirligig, the length of the straw, to observe and record any variance in the performance of the flyer.

 

Here is the Paper Helicopter template from Babble Dabble 

Category: Engineering
Straw structure.JPG

Excited about building with straws yet? This exercise that introduces kids to geometry and structures. Thanks so much to the Kids Activities Blog’s new book for the great project! You’ll find tons more in their book!

Category: Maths
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Making a bouncy ball is an example of a chemical reaction. This reaction happens between the Borax and glue. The Borax is the cross-linker for the glue’s polymer molecules. This creates chains of molecules that stay together when your child plays with the ball.

Category: Science
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