Guide to Teaching Children About the States of Matter

May 4th, 2018

Many of us have experienced that existential “wow, science!” moment in adulthood. It may have occurred while watching an ice cube melt in the sun. Suddenly, it dawns on us that the ice is actually made of crystalline water molecules, that they are absorbing light from a star 93 million miles away, and that it’s causing them to wiggle excitedly until they slide off the ice cube. The colossus of scientific knowledge behind even this simple process can be overwhelming,...

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Tornado in a Bottle Experiment

April 5th, 2018

Tornadoes are violent winds that create a funnel underneath a storm system. As the winds rotate, they often pick up speed, and eventually, they form what is called a funnel cloud — a column of water droplets, dust and other debris with a tapered shape extending from the base of a thunderstorm. This is a pretty weighty concept to explain to kids, though. It’s much easier to simply let kids observe a tornado, seeing how the winds move and what...

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Teaching Science to Different Learning Styles

March 7th, 2018

Most successful teachers are personally invested in their students’ success. The best are instructional chameleons, changing colors and adapting to each unique situation. No two students are alike, both in terms of personality and learning style. As a result, no single teaching style is going to be effective in all situations. Further complicating the issue is the fact that each academic subject also tends to have a specific style of instruction that works best. Anyone who thinks teaching is easy...

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Getting Kids Interested in STEM

February 2nd, 2018

What’s your child’s favorite subject in school? The common answer is recess or PE, but science, math and other STEM-related subjects aren’t often cited as favorites. Changing how kids feel about STEM can make a world of difference as they move through elementary school and into middle school, high school and college. Learn how to get your kids into science to reap the benefits down the road. What Is STEM? Before we dive too far into how to get kids...

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How to Teach Kids About Pollution

January 3rd, 2018

With climate change continuing to be a hot topic, many parents and teachers are trying to figure out how to teach kids about pollution. It’s important for children to know about it because when they’re familiar with what it is, knowledgeable about its consequences and informed about how they can reduce or eliminate their own carbon footprints, they can help prevent it. What Pollution Is Put simply, pollution is anything that’s introduced into the environment that has the potential to...

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Space Food

December 4th, 2017

Have you ever asked yourself, “What do astronauts eat in space?” If so, you’re not alone. When you visit a science center, it’s not unusual to see kids — and some adults — walking around with astronaut ice cream and a few other astronaut foods because they’re curious about what’s eaten in space. Today, the food astronauts eat in space is remarkably similar to what people eat on Earth, although you won’t find cookies or bread on the menu. That’s...

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Think Like a Scientist: Teaching the Scientific Method to Kids

November 9th, 2017

If you’re wondering how to teach kids to think like a scientist, the solution is pretty simple — teach them the scientific method. While that may seem easy on the surface, introducing the scientific method for kids in a way that will make the scientific method stick in their minds is often challenging. Merriam-Webster defines the scientific method as follows: “Principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of...

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Make Your Own Rock Candy

October 16th, 2017

*Please note parental participation is required for this experiment due to working with scalding liquids. Can a single science experiment be alliterative, fun and yummy all at the same time? When it comes to making your own rock candy, the answer is absolutely! Involving words like “solutes,” “solvents,” “sedimentation,” “solutions” and “supersaturated,” talking about making rock candy obviously fits the bill for being alliterative. It also requires the involvement of both adults and children, so making rock candy is a...

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Disappearing Messages!

August 15th, 2017

It’s almost a rite of passage. At some time in every childhood, you absolutely must experiment with disappearing ink. Many a secret message has been written and delivered using this time-honored method of communication. What kids who write these notes may not realize is they’re also participating in a scientific experiment. It’s true — whether your children are pretending to be a secret agent or a spy, they are actually becoming a part of the scientific process, benefitting from something...

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Understanding Melting Points

July 11th, 2017

  How do you explain the states of matter to a child? It’s a difficult concept to master. Even some adults have trouble wrapping their heads around how something can go from solid to liquid to gas with just a few small tweaks in temperature or location. The best way to teach kids is to have fun, and a science experiment that demonstrates melting points while also incorporating ice — fun! — and food coloring — super fun! — can...

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